A new wave of Teen Choice Awards nominations have been announced, and with it, a new wave of outcry has washed ashore in the wake of the announcement of the nominees. The categories in question and under fire are Choice TV: Chemistry and Choice TV: Liplock, which are lacking any same-sex couples. Furthermore, the inclusion of a noncanon, platonic pairing for Choice TV: Chemistry is sparking outrage.
Nominees for the Teen Choice Awards are selected by popular vote, fans taking to Twitter to nominate their favorites or visiting the Teen Choice Award’s website, but some fans are calling into question the accuracy of this process. Trailblazing couples Clexa (Clarke and Lexa from the CW’s The 100) and Malec (Magnus and Alec from Freeform’s Shadowhunters) didn’t make the list, which seems odd considering their popularity.
Clexa is notably a well-known ship, one that has time and time again appeared in the headlines; it is the ship that sparked the movement for better LGBT representation. Furthermore, it is the ship that raised over $100,000 for the Trevor Project. In the weeks and months following Lexa’s death, Clexakru trended more than 40 trends, and they’re still trending. Clexa has won too many polls to count on one hand, all voted on by the fans for the fans. And lets not forget to mention the E News TV’s Couple of the Year Award, which had Clexa and Malec neck and neck for the entirety of the poll until Clexa finally pulled ahead with 52% of the votes. With all of this in mind, it’s easy to see why some are confused as to how neither of these couples made the cut for the Teen Choice Awards.
The announcement, which comes during LGBT Pride Month, which aims to celebrate the progress made toward equality for LGBT peoples, doesn’t seem very fitting, and actually seems to exemplify the progress that still needs to be made regarding LGBT portrayal and representation in the media. Angry and confused fans took to social media following the announcements using the hashtag #TeenChoiceSoStraight to voice their concerns, and their tweets exemplify why the lack of inclusion of same-sex couples is such an issue.
this is about nothing else than the stark difference in how f/f ships and m/f ships get treated by tv, media, and fandom alike. goodbye.
— samaritahn (@ElsaIsALesbian) June 9, 2016
— Octavia (@oktaivia) June 9, 2016
The homophobia is so real I am tired of fighting #TeenChoiceSoStraight
— amy (@hedahaught) June 9, 2016
It's not about "not winning a poll" The problem comes from media that keeps portraying LGBT characters as not worthy #TeenChoiceSoStraight
— News-clexakru (@commander_press) June 9, 2016
#TeenChoiceSoStraight is just another example of how little the voice of thousand of LGBT teen are matter in media
— K (@Kimkt647) June 9, 2016
The outrage isn’t about shipping. It’s not about one ship being better than the other. The outcry is over the fact that the chemistry between same-sex couples on television, couples who are immensely popular, was overlooked. Not having same-sex couples nominated when they shared immense amounts of chemistry and kisses that will go down in history only perpetuates the media not portraying LGBT characters as worthy. If one of the greatest love stories of all time that just so happens to be a same-sex relationship can’t garner a nomination, but a relationship that is, to this point of the show, only platonic can, then what will it take for these relationships to be viewed in the same light as heterosexual relationships?
To all of the LGBT fans reading this, know that your worth is not defined by a nomination. Know that regardless of whether or not a same-sex couple was nominated for a category that they undeniably should have been nominated for, you still matter. You’ve put up an incredible fight this year and you are still fighting for the representation that you deserve, and it is through your fight that you’ve started a discussion that hasn’t quieted down in the months since it started; that is more commendable than anything else.