John Constantine is a smoker.
In the comics, he's a chain smoker, a lung cancer survivor who tricked a demon into guaranteeing his safety even in the face of continued smoking, and staunchly in the camp of people who wouldn't care about things like television standards and practices.
Of course, now that there's a TV series based on the character, somebody has to care and NBC and the producers raised quite a few eyebrows when they said that he wouldn't be seen smoking onscreen. The pilot, which was screened at Comic Con International: San Diego last weekend, depicted him stamping out a cigarette in the opening moments of a scene, but not actually enjoying one.
Well, here's the latest tweet from the official account. Again, stamping out his cigarette, but here it's clearly smoking and there's just something about it that makes it seem more like a creative choice than an obligation. It's difficult to miss the fact that, just days after series star Matt Ryan was booted from his Comic Con hotel for smoking in his room, this is the image they picked to share.
There's been a surprising level of backlash against the move to downplay Constantine's smoking -- moreso than when the showrunners indicated they had no plans to touch on the character's bisexual past in the series.
Of course, part of the backlash may be related to the fact that David S. Goyer of Man of Steel fame is involved and it seems that every time he talks lately, he riles some group of fans, from telling them that fan opinion isn't a consideration in his writing to downplaying the significance of the smoking and bisexuality when confronted about Constantine.0comments