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I didn’t have role models or heroes while I was growing up. “Stories of Famous People” — our 6th grade textbook in Fiji — was quite erroneously titled. It should have been called “Stories of Famous White People.” I didn’t learn about Bhagat Singh or Jhansi Ki Rani until I was well into my teenage years. All I had were TV stars and even they were white or at least, fair-skinned. Somehow, it didn’t really matter.
My first TV crush was Teri Hatcher, as Lois Lane in Lois and Clark. Then it was Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully in The X-Files. They were both strong, independent, intellectual and incredibly talented women who held their own despite being undervalued and underpaid when compared to the male lead. They also did not take anything at face value and hunted around for answers to questions that most people did not even ask.
Then I was brought to the United States. I was barely 15, grappling with all the changes around me and found myself drawn to this one blonde on this new CW show called Smallville, that was about a young Clark Kent before he became Superman. I started watching religiously and it became the one stable thing in an otherwise tumultuous life.
I would find out much later that the creators of the show had wanted a woman of color to play the part of Chloe Sullivan, but Allison Mack had nailed the role. They gave it to her. And for once, I’m glad they did.
I would also find out that the writers of the show created the character because they could not have a “Lois Lane” on Smallville. Later, they would bring on Erica Durance to play the part but I was already sold on Chloe. And there is a reason that thousands of other Smallville fans wanted “Chloe and Clark” and not “Lois and Clark.” I’ll make a confession — I wanted Lois and Chloe together but they are cousins and the show never gave us a single positive gay character. They gave us plenty of Clark and Lex angst, resulting in a genetic love-child but that is another post.
I don’t need to sing praises for Allison Mack or talk about how great she was on Smallville. I don’t need to know where they will take her character in the DC Comics Universe. I just needed to acknowledge that maybe somewhere along the way, she made an impact on my life, however small and inconsequential.
Thank you for giving 10 years of your life to Chloe Sullivan.
- Smallville Season 10: Allison Mack Will Only Guest Star (screenrant.com)
- Why Today’s Women Need Dana Scully (wired.com)
- Smallville: Chloe And Black Canary Return in ‘Collateral’ Episode (screenrant.com)