DC Comics reverses decision and allows the Superman ‘S’ to appear on a …

  
  • Bronze statue created after campaigners raised cash to have it made
  • They were touched by the story of Canada’s Jeffrey Baldwin
  • He died 12 years ago after being starved by his grandparents
  • DC Entertainment ‘didn’t want their Superman brand linked child abuse’
  • The company back flipped following a public backlash

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Daily Mail Reporters

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DC Comics have reversed their decision to ban the Superman ‘S’ from appearing on a murdered five-year-old boy’s memorial following mounting public pressure.

The comics giant sparked outrage on social media after refusing to permit the logo on a life-sized statue of Jeffrey Baldwin who was starved to death by his grandparents in 2002.

The Canadian boy had been locked in a cold, urine and feces-stained bedroom in the home of his grandmother, his Catholic Children’s Aid Society-approved guardian, and wasted away to the weight of a baby.

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Little Superman: Jeffrey Baldwin died 12 years ago at the age of five after being starved by his grandparents in Toronto, Canada (undated picture supplied by the Office of the Chief Coroner in Ontario)

Little Superman: Jeffrey Baldwin died 12 years ago at the age of five after being starved by his grandparents in Toronto, Canada (undated picture supplied by the Office of the Chief Coroner in Ontario)

Tragic: Jeffrey Baldwin (pictured in undated photo) had been locked in a cold, urine and feces-stained bedroom in his grandmother's home where he wasted away

Tragic: Jeffrey Baldwin (pictured in undated photo) had been locked in a cold, urine and feces-stained bedroom in his grandmother’s home where he wasted away

‘DC Entertainment uses a flexible set of criteria when we receive worthy requests such as this, and at times have reconsidered our initial stance,’ a DC Comics spokesperson said in a statement, according to The Star.

‘After verifying the support of appropriate family members, DC Entertainment will be allowing the Jeffrey Baldwin Memorial Statue to feature the Superman ‘S’ shield.’

Following an inquest earlier this year, Ottawa IT worker Todd Boyce was touched by the words of Jeffrey’s father Richard in his testimony, and started raising money for a statue of Jeffrey.

Mr Baldwin had said: ‘He wanted to fly. He tried jumping off the chair. We had to make him stop. He dressed up (as Superman) for Halloween one year. He was so excited. I have that picture at home hanging on my wall. He was our little man of steel.’ 

Mr Baldwin added that before his teenage parents lost custody of Jeffrey to his maternal grandparents the little boy was very energetic and loved the superhero.

Mr Boyce’s appeal to raise money online was successful, and the statue was designed and the model created, with Jeffrey wearing his favorite costume.

This photo provided by Ruth Abernethy shows a statue of Jeffrey Baldwin. DC Entertainment is refusing to allow the Superman logo to adorn a memorial statue of a Toronto boy who loved the superhero during his short life before his grandparents starved him to death. A coroner's inquest last winter into the death of five-year-old Jeffrey Baldwin caught the attention of an Ottawa man, who was moved by Jeffrey's plight and wanted to pay tribute to the boy. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ruth Abernethy)

Backflip: DC Entertainment is now allowing allow the Superman ‘S’ logo to appear on a memorial statue (pictured) for little Superman fan, Jeffrey Baldwin 

But, Mr
Boyce says, when DC Entertainment found out, the comic book giant
refused him permission to use the iconic diamond-shaped ‘S’ logo. 

‘It
was important for me because I really felt I wanted to capture the
photograph of Jeffrey wearing his Superman costume and have it as close
to that as possible,’ Mr Boyce told CBC News. 

‘Basically
they didn’t want to have the character of Superman associated with
child abuse. They weren’t comfortable with that.’ 

Mr Boyce told CBC News he was angry and emotional when he first learned of their refusal, but after subsequent conversations with people at the company and their lawyers, he softened his stance.

Mr Boyce was prepared to change to the design to a ‘J’ instead of an ‘S’.

Backlash

Backlash: Jason Marcy joined the Twitter backlash against DC Comics, calling them 'money grubbing and heartless'

Backlash: Jason Marcy joined the Twitter backlash against DC Comics, calling them ‘money grubbing and heartless’

Outrage: Twitter user Paul Vermeersch questioned whether Superman would be as heartless as the company which owns the super hero brand

Outrage: Twitter user Paul Vermeersch questioned whether Superman would be as heartless as the company which owns the super hero brand

Unimpressed: Twitter user Anna Mehler Paperny questioned the PR savvy of DC Entertainment

Unimpressed: Twitter user Anna Mehler Paperny questioned the PR savvy of DC Entertainment

However DC
Comics’ decision led to uproar on social media, with dozens of people
urging the company to change its mind and threatening a boycott.

The company today called Mr Boyce saying they’d reversed their decision.

‘I
think all along DC has been very sensitive … that this is something
they really did struggle with as an organization,’ Mr Boyce told The
Star.

‘In hindsight, maybe they might have been better off just quietly giving us permission in the first place.’

One of Jeffrey’s sisters has chosen a poem to be engraved on a bench that will be part of the memorial, Mr Boyce said.

It begins with the line ‘I wish heaven had a phone so I could hear your voice again.’ 

Jeffrey’s grandparents were convicted of second-degree murder in 2006. They had custody of Jeffrey and his three siblings.

Two of them were treated relatively well, the inquest heard, but one of his sisters was subjected to the same conditions.

The difference between Jeffrey and his sister was that she was allowed to go to school and the daily snack she received there probably saved her life, the inquest heard.

MailOnline has approached DC Entertainment for a comment.

 


Comments (23)

Share what you think

The comments below have not been moderated.

M40,

North Coast, United States,

59 minutes ago

So sad. So cruel. RIP little one.

Downtown Los Angeles,

Los Angeles, United States,

1 hour ago

Little, tiny tyke. You looked so proud of your silly Superman outfit. How could anyone do to you what your grandparents did. I am so sorry.

Reubenene,

Victoria, Australia,

2 hours ago

Oh, no…what a horrible, heartbreaking story.

DentalMom67,

Danvers, United States,

4 hours ago

Good job DC. Thank you. 🙂

txag,

USA, United States,

4 hours ago

Good job doing what should have been done in the first place. No kudos to DC for this one. We know where their hearts and minds really are.

Victor,

Get to da frakin point already, United States,

3 hours ago

I agree most vehemently txag. That poor boy, starved to death by his own grandparents, the same should be done to them.

PS,

Anytown, United States,

5 hours ago

Hooray, I’m glad DC reversed their decision! That young man suffered enough tragedy in life, the least he deserves is to be immortalized as a superhero.

MrsJ911,

Caerphilly, United Kingdom,

5 hours ago

I should think so too, hope his grandparents rot in hell.

Nessa90,

Bridgeport, United States,

6 hours ago

His grandparents no less smh was he protected by anyone?! rest in paradise sweet boy :/ you didn’t deserve what those monster did to you

Jennifer Thompson1,

Westlake Village, United States,

6 hours ago

How the f-ck can someone do that to a kid?!! Starve him?!! Don’t they have any morals? Where’s their conscious?!!

Henrietta,

Washington, United States,

5 hours ago

At least one of those grandparents didn’t have one, and the other was too selfish to change sides mid-stream.

broketaxpayer,

Norfolk VA,

6 hours ago

Who in the world was this “witness”? They should be punished too.

Henrietta,

Washington, United States,

6 hours ago

Can’t help but wonder if either of this child’s parents has taken responsibility for having lost custody of him to the people who killed him. Sickeningly sad that no one raised the alarm in time to save this little boy.

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From: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2686589/DC-Comics-reverses-decision-allows-Superman-S-appear-murdered-five-year-old-boys-memorial-statue.html

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