The Arrowverse is no stranger to representation, with a fair smattering of gay, lesbian and bi characters throughout its shows, which includes Supergirl, Arrow, The Flash and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Sometimes referred to as the Berlantiverse, after the mogul behind the series of interlinked DC shows, it’s testament to the sway — and priorities — of the openly gay Greg Berlanti that representation takes a front seat.
Since his first gay storyline on Dawson’s Creek, Berlanti has been striving to populate the shows he works on with a more diverse – and accurate – representation of society. And though he’s sometimes run into criticism – the recent romance between Supergirl’s Alex Danvers and Arrow’s Sara Lance ran foul of fans criticizing the relationship as a male-viewed version of a lesbian relationship – he’s certainly made strides in this area.
FANDOM chatted to the super-producer, who has just directed Love, Simon, a teen coming-out story, about LGBTQ representation on the small screen.
“I think it’s gotten a lot better,” he says. “But I think everybody realises now the importance of telling stories of all walks of life and how rewarding that can be as a storyteller, and also as a human being.”
A Vast Array of Stories
Berlanti says, however, that there’s still a distance he’d like to travel, and singles out the Arrowverse shows.
“We don’t have any trans superheroes on our shows, and that’s something we owe it to ourselves and the audience to be a part of,” he says. “And it’s just very validating for kids especially, I think. So I think everyone’s pleased but still hopefully is challenged to recognise that there’s still more work to do.”
He adds, “I would love to do any story that I thought was really truthful. And I do think that there’s so many different kinds of people. Obviously, there’s an infinite number of different kinds of people in the LGBT community, and so there should be a vast array of stories that reflect that. More than anything, I would enjoy that as an audience member. The audience deserves it and I think it’s good for everybody.”
Love, Simon is out now in the US and Australia, and hits UK screens on April 6.