The CW President Mark Pedowitz Addresses Mon-El Backlash

by Erik Amaya

 

Unit Stills from Supergirl Episode 04

While appearing at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Wednesday, The CW president Mark Pedowitz addressed the backlash over Supergirl recurring character Mon-El and his relationship with Kara.

According to TVLine, Pedowitz alluded to the return of the character, played by Chris Wood, in the upcoming third season. When a TCA member said “Nobody wants that” in response, the network executive replied, “I think people would disagree with you on that.”

The exchange reflected a division in the fanbase and their reaction to the Daxamite prince with heart-eyes for Kara Zor-El. Online, the relationship between the two characters was met with some scorn from a faction of loyal shippers dedicated to seeing Kara and Katie McGrath‘s Lena Luthor become a couple. While some explained their desire to see that relationship blossom as an understandable thirst for more LGBTQA representation on television, others became unwilling to accept the actual relationship offered to them by Supergirl.

Also, McGrath and series star Melissa Benoist have mad chemistry with one another, so it’s not like the ship is materializing out of thin air.

Beyond the Supercorp shippers, there are also viewers who just never warmed up to the character. First presented as something of an intergalactic frat bro, Mon-El made a terrible initially impression. While he eventually grew past that persona, some felt the progression was too rushed in order for the series to begin the relationship with Kara. As an added consequence, her willingness to be with him was perceived as being out of character with the Kara established in the first season.

The result was a surprisingly vocal number of Mon-El haters. As Pedowitz told TVLine, “I understand there is some backlash to [Mon-El].” He added that he is “a big fan of Chris Wood and Melissa [Benoist], and they get along great.” His final statement on the matter may rankle some  Supercorp shippers: “And you know what, it’s the right way to tell a story.”

McGrath will be a series regular in the upcoming season while Wood’s status on the show remains unclear. Bringing McGrath on fulltime indicates the bond between Kara and Lena will receive greater focus in the coming year, though it appears unlikely that the focus will take on a romantic angle. But even if the characters remain platonic, it still means a wealth of material with the two actors being dynamite scene partners. Or, who knows, maybe one or both of the characters will come to wonder if there’s something more to their friendship. Honestly, I like Mon-El — the character is the reason I started reading comics long ago — but I’d be just as thrilled to see Supercorp become text in some fashion. I’d also be thrilled for Mon-El to find his niche in the 31st Century with another group of young heroes.

Meanwhile, Legion of Superheroes fans are no doubt waiting for Kara’s OTP to emerge from the future and compute his way into her heart.

Supergirl returns on October 9th.

Erik Amaya

Host of Tread Perilously and a Film/TV Writer at Comicon.com. A contributing writer at CBR, Fanbase Press, Monkeys Fighting Robots and Rotten Tomatoes. Voice of Puppet Tommy on The Room Responds. A seeker of the Seastone Chair and the owner of a Legion Flight Ring. Sorted into Gryffindor, which came as some surprise.