The Cult of Chloe: ‘Smallville’ fans think big with tribute commercial to Clark Kent’s gal pal

May 14, 2010 | 6:28 p.m.

Tonight, before “Smallville” airs on the CW, the viewers that watch KTLA here in Southern California will see a curious thing — a fan-funded “tribute commercial” singing the praises of Allison Mack, who has played Chloe Sullivan on the show since the first episode aired in October 2001. The commercial, filmed in February in Los Angeles and directed by Jon Michael Kondrath, highlights the milestone moments in Chloe’s odyssey from high school student to Daily Planet employee and, through it all, defining the physics of friendship with her very special pal, a certain Man of Steel. The ad will air twice during the 6 p.m. hour. The fan group behind all this calls itself Legendary and hopes to air the mini-tribute in other markets as well. I invited one of the key members, Margaret J. Bates of Alabama, to write a guest essay about the cult of Chloe. — Geoff Boucher

Allison Mack

 

“Chloe who?”  I get that a lot. When you’re a fan of “Smallville,” it’s not always the cool thing to love someone who is an original creation of the show (as opposed to an import from the longtime Superman mythology of the comics, films, etc.). Heck, I’ve found myself trying to explain what Chloe is even doing on the show in the first place. People know Lex Luthor and the Man of Steel. In contrast, you get a blank stare when you mention Chloe Sullivan’s name. However, she’s become a lot more than “Chloe who?” to me and to legions of “Smallville” fans.

Chloe has been on the series since Day 1 and is the only character besides Clark Kent to endure in that small cornstalk town from the start of the first season through the ninth season finale. She’s the one me and many others identify with. Chloe is smart, she’s sarcastic, but she’s also serious when she needs to be. I’ve watched her start out as a snarky high-school reporter ready to climb into the Mystery Machine and solve all the bizarre puzzles of her hometown. I’ve seen her flourish — and stumble. I cheered for her when Chloe achieved her dreams by becoming a published reporter for The Daily Planet at 19. I’ve cried with her losses, too, like her firing and the way she’s locked herself in an emotional prison this past season.

Mostly though, I’ve watched her kick a lot of ass.

Smallville

 

Chloe is a heroine. She’s not a heroine because she looks great in a star-spangled one piece or a leather cat suit. She’s not a heroine because she has karate skills. Chloe’s a heroine because she’s smart. Yes, yes, she does possess that magical hacker ability that seems to run rampant on television, but she’s more than that, more than a “Chloogle.” She sees the angles that Clark often misses. She calls him on his crap. She goes toe-to-toe with the most powerful superhero out there and she never hesitates. She’s the woman behind the Man of Steel and she’s the one who’s risked her life (and even her mind) to keep him safe. In the coming season finale, airing Friday on the CW, she’ll be calling together the Justice League and the Justice Society for a major crisis / major guest-star moment. Note that it’s not Clark Kent doing that, but Chloe Sullivan, a mere mortal, coordinating a massive scale battle to save Earth from an alien invasion. I mean, how can I not love her for that?

All of this is why, along with my friend, Liz De Razzo, and others, I’ve co-produced a commercial for Chloe Sullivan and in honor of the actress who plays her, Allison Mack. The ad, called Legendary, will air twice tonight on KTLA — at 6:17 and 6:48. We all wanted to do something unique and we feel this is. Here’s a teaser for the ad…

There has never been a fan-tribute ad just for one character. (As one site, Sci-Fi Revolution, put it, “Where’s the ad for Jack Bauer?”) Chloe, however, has inspired us to do this. I’m not saying it’s time to cue up the Bette Midler; we do, contrary to the fanboy / fangirl stereotype, have real lives.

Smallville Allison Mack

Still, she’s been an example for us in pop culture of someone we could aspire to be. She’s a driven career woman, has been since we saw her in her first scene of the pilot. We watched her struggle to earn her way into journalism. It was something that, in tandem with our real-life role models, drove us on to our own achievements in life.

I may be a producer on the weekends, but in my day job I’m a graduate student. The women who have contributed to the Legendary project include lawyers and doctors and writers. Chloe appeals to us. She inspired me and so when this crazy idea was first proposed, I couldn’t help but agree, even though it meant organizing it and helping to get it done from halfway across the country here in Alabama. And then there was the cost. Most people are not as determined as “Smallville” fans, especially those of the Chloe Sullivan variety — and most people are probably not as insanely devoted.

Where do we go from here?” Cue the end song from the “Buffy” musical episode (yes, no surprise, I happen to be a full-on, old-school WB lover). I’ve seen what fandom can do firsthand. I’ve watched “Smallville” fans in separate campaigns raise $4,000 this year for The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.

I know that Liz De Razzo and her organization IBG Inc. started out of a love for the X-Files work of  Gillian Anderson and have now raised thousands for various charities. In that spirit, Legendary is just the beginning. I feel like it is the first project from our newborn group, Legendary Women Inc. As we get the site off the ground, and more people joining, we want to highlight women in the media and characters from film and television who serve as true role models for young women. We also want to follow in other fandoms’ footsteps and do at least one yearly charity drive. So, in other words, Buffy SummersAgent Olivia Dunham and Dr. Dana Scully, you’re next. Step up and be Legendary.

– Margaret J. Bates

A teaser for tonight’s “Smallville” epsiode — but, um, where’s Chloe?

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Comments


35 Responses to The Cult of Chloe: ‘Smallville’ fans think big with tribute commercial to Clark Kent’s gal pal

  1. Toby says:

    I adored this article. Chloe and Allison are legendary and amazing and they deserve the recognition. Wow, only 6 hours to go.

    • Penny says:

      Without Chloe there may NOT have been a "Superman" a couple of times! She was the one that covered his back. She was the one that risked her own life to protect his. She was the one that truly, truly was in LOVE with Clark Kent!
      I LOVE Clark Kent, he is so handsome it hurts to look at him and not say "If only I could go back a few years!" He "Tom" sure does know how to act. He makes it all seems so very real.
      I will miss you all so very much.

  2. JaySin420 says:

    I'm not a big Chloe fan but this is very cool. She's the only regular since the show began other than Clark so I think she deserves the love.

  3. Tawny C says:

    Thank you for covering the Legendary project.
    As one of the many fans who were involved in raising funds (both for the ad and the donation to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation) I'm so thrilled that our tribute will finally air tonight.

  4. Nancy says:

    Thank you for the story–I enjoyed being a part of this campaign and gave to it even though there was every likelihood that the project may not have seen a positive conclusion.
    It's been spoiled by Greg Beeman (a former Smallville producer) that Allison Mack is not returning for Season 10.
    "Also, Alison Mack. It was amazing to see her again. She was just a girl of 18 or 19 when the show began. Now she is a woman, so mature and together. She was going through some changes on this episode, because she was choosing to move on from the show. It looks like she’ll be back for a couple of episodes but not full time. She and I got to talk about the experience of leaving behind something that you’ve grown so attached to. "
    So I'm more than happy to see Allison Mack leave knowing that her fans loved her as Chloe Sullivan and I'm glad I jumped at the opportunity to say how I felt so uniquely.
    I can wait to see the ad.
    Nancy
    source: http://gregbeeman.blogspot.com/

  5. Matt says:

    Chloe Sullivan and Allison Mack are indeed inspiring in their personality and positive values. Both are worthy of the recognition and appreciation from fans around the world. That's what makes them legendary.

  6. mmac80 says:

    What a kick-ass article much like the heroine we are honoring! Thank you so much Margaret and Liz! I'm glad to be an Allison/Chloe fan.

  7. Stephanie says:

    So excited to see this write-up and to hear about the other characters Legendary will be promoting! I love that they are showing the world / t.v. producers / movie producers how beloved these female characters are!

  8. EllyF says:

    Thanks for covering this project! As an original cast member who's contributed great things to Smallville, Allison Mack deserves a whole lot of appreciation.

  9. MonicaOP says:

    Thanks a lot for this article, is amazing to see how far this fans went, the work they put into this, and the fact that there was also money raised for Charities is also totally cool!!!
    Oh my is so close now!! I can't wait to see this!! Be well!!!

  10. Lacy says:

    Awesome article. Truly captures why I admire the character of Chloe Sullivan and Allison Mack for bringing her to life for these past 9 years. Chloe and Allison Mack are both legendary and inspiring.
    Thanks for the article!

  11. Fabrisse says:

    As an early Smallville fan, Chloe was one of my favorites from the beginning. I never understood how Clark could choose either Lana or Lois over the gutsy, beautiful, and SMART Ms. Sullivan.
    Allison Mack did wonders with a role that could have been a cliched "damsel in distress" and made her the life blood of the show.

  12. Jane McIntyre Monroe says:

    Are you kidding me? Oil spill in the Gulf, Haiti, people still recovering from Katrina and money gathered by a bunch of young girls to make a commercial about a TV actress. They would have been better off doing something truly noble and donating the money in her name to a WORTHY cause. Honestly what is going on with people today. It must have been a real slow news day for the Times to even give this article space. Nice that these kids have that kind of money from mommy and daddy to play with. This is absolutely pathetic and disgraceful. I am disgusted. Obviously none of these rich kids have been affected by any of lifes disasters recently have they?

  13. Vera says:

    Thank you, Geoff, for posting this. It's a fantastic read into how Chloe and AM influenced this ad with the key members of the project and I think this in general would be a lot of what other members of the project think too. I think it shows how far reaching Chloe & allison's appeal is.
    It's so great that it's finally going to air but bittersweet too now that Greg Beeman has spoiled that Allison won't be returning full time next season. I am now so thrilled that Allison gets to see this as her unofficial goodbye ad. I wish her much success in the future.

  14. Jay says:

    That was very moving! I've admired Chloe's strength from the beginning of 'Smallville'. Her passion for journalism inspired me to go to university and today I'm a proud journalism graduate.
    Congrates Legendary!

  15. Nathalia Miller says:

    Really?!?
    Am I the only one that doesn't like Chloe??
    She is wretched!!

  16. Glen says:

    I'm glad for Chloe, but the writers have re-written roles — and characters — in ways that make little sense, historically. It's unfortunate they're unable to have anyone be an actual adult (say, over 30) on the series. Even General Zod is 28?!?!?! Somewhat absurd, since Jorel wasn't 28 when he died.
    Fortunately, Chloe does actually enhance the show with a down-to-earth persona. Good for her.

  17. Elizabeth says:

    Love this article! Thank you so much for covering this. The commercial was AMAZING! As an Allison Mack/Chloe Sullivan fan I am so proud. We've had several great campaigns this year for her, from the donation to The Christopher and Dana Reeves Foundation, to gifts, to this FABULOUS commercial, we are a dedicated bunch.

  18. JE says:

    A Legendary woman? No, I am sorry I will bash the hell out of this no matter what they were promoting, be it Chloe or overall the show itself.
    If I ever have a daughter, and she ends up anything like Chloe Sullivan…I will have failed as a father. Chloe not only spent much of her life pining after a man who didn't want her, but often times when she felt rejected by him she BETRAYED him or didn't listen to his wishes in the guise of being his best friend. Deceit, no matter how big or small is still deceit. It's a horrible trait.
    She has lied, manipulated, stolen (money and items), and developed a God-complex that cost people their lives. She cheated on her husband, WHOM WAS INJURED TRYING TO PROTECT HER, because she "fell" for a Kryptonian beast. Of course she claimed she did it for Clark, but why did she keep such a close watch over Davis, even cleaning up his "messes" (which I will remind you were HUMAN BEINGS). She sheltered him despite the fact he was a serial killer, knowing he was out striking against innocent victims.
    Her God-complex this last season not only almost lead to the utter destruction of the Earth, she almost cost her so called "best friend" his life in the process. She had a *beep* relationship with a man, and stole from him TWICE to pay for Watchtower. Her morality is gray, and her motivations were ALWAYS questionable.
    If this, this fictional character of DRASTIC flaws is the representation of what women "should be" then I shudder the thought of what type of women my generation will produce.

  19. Nicole Elizabeth says:

    Thank You! I grew up with Allison Mack's Chloe Sullivan. The character became a positive influence on my life each week. Watching Chloe stand for truth, justice & work to achieve her dream of Reporter, Daily Planet! She's suffered for her loyalty to Clark, made mistakes & learned from them. Just as Clark has.. as we all do. I've also found Allison to be a lovely role model in promoting goals for young women; The Beyond Pink seminar, her creative Mack Events, the production company with Kristin Kruek. I wish her much success & this is an amazing tribute to both a very talented actress & her beloved character.
    Chloe Sullivan has repeatedly saved the world alongside her best friend: Clark Kent. I adore they actually used Clark's quote to Chloe "the best friend & allie anyone could ever have" To paraphrase Geoff Johns (one of my favorite Superman comic writers) "Chloe is a great addition to the Superman mythology." She's a heroine who's earned her place over the past 9 years!
    I am so sorry to see Erica Durance fans trying to taint this tribute for whatever reason. This was in honor of Allison Mack & only serves to make YOU look petty.

  20. Devin says:

    Trying to make this about Erica Durance? Lady claiming to be a lawyer, you need to look in the mirror with the "how you conduct yourself comes back" speech, yet trying to discredit others with your own negativity. Erica Durance did Howard Stern & promoted her naked parties, not my kind of role model, but to each his own.

  21. Mary says:

    As a long time Smallville fan, I’m sort of confused by this whole thing.
    On the one hand, I really do respect that we all have differing opinions on the show and I respect that there are GOOD people throughout the fandom that want to support Allison Mack.
    I’ve never been a huge fan of Chloe….but I DO like Allison Mack and I certainly respect another fan’s right to adore the character she plays. I think Allison is lovely and I wish her the absolute best in her career. I’m happy to see Allison appreciated. Hell, I don’t even like the character she plays (and never have in 9 years) but I appreciate her too. I’m grateful that she stood by the show for so many years and remained so loyal when others left. She didn’t have to stay with the show but she did. I think she’s beautiful AND talented.
    My problem with this is that it just seems like this presentation isn’t very true to the show canon. Chloe has not been a Saint over the last 9 years. She pined over a man who didn’t love her and turned on him when he didn’t return her love. I often found her to be a control freak and selfish and in the last two seasons I’ve had serious problems with some of her deceptions. Now, that’s not to say that I don’t think she’s an intersting character or that Mack isn’t doing a great job. She is. But this picture of Chloe that some of these fans have painted just doesn’t seem accurate to this fan.
    It’s also hard because on the one hand, I know that there are good people throughout the fandom. I know that there are fans out there of Chloe who would NEVER be cruel or vicious to anyone. So for those fans…I’m thrilled about this. They deserve to celebrate the woman they love so much.
    The problem is that some of the same fans who supported this project are infamous under different names in the Smallville fandom for the VILE and nasty things that they’ve said about fellow Smallville actress (and FRIEND of Allison Mack), Erica Durance. They’ve made many many nasty personal attacks against her over the years. They’ve attacked her appearance in disgusting ways that I would never post on this forum. They’ve called her names, they’ve mocked her and they’ve spent a good portion of their time treating her poorly. They lost sight of character vs. the real person a long time ago. So that’s why it’s just hard for many of us in the Smallville fandom to take this project seriously because we know the true colors of some of the people involved.
    And just for the record…I commend all of the women involved on their achievements in their personal lives. But I’m a professional woman myself. I’m a lawyer. I graduated from law school when I was 24 years old. Personally, I would NEVER want to be associated with this project BECAUSE of the past actions of some of the people involved. I’ve learned first hand in both my private life and my professional life that people will remember how you present yourself. We are defined by our actions and unfortunately, they follow us throughout our lives. If we lash out at someone on the internet or curse and lose our temper: people will REMEMBER. In the age of the internet, it can be hard to undo these kinds of things and our credibility can be threatened. One of the most important things that I’ve learned as a professional is to watch my behavior at all times because you just never know who is watching you or listening to the things you say. It’s an important life lesson and a moment of anger or a personal insult directed somene’s way (in this case towards Erica Durance) can come back to haunt you and destroy your credibility. So please don’t insinuate that you are the only women that watch Smallville who are smart, driven women. I am one of MANY women that I know who are smart professionals and who support the ENTIRE cast of Smallville. Oh….and a woman’s ability to look amazing and beautiful in a “star-spangled” bathing suit OR a leather catsuit does not detract from her ability to be a true heroine NOR does it detract from her ability to have a brain and be of value in this world. Truth be told, a woman CAN be both overtly sexy and a heroine at the same time if she owns it and presents herself with confidence.
    That being said, I truly do adore Allison and I don’t fault her for some of the poor choices of her fans. I wish her nothing but the best in her career. I’m not sure if this project is presenting the most accurate picture of who Chloe truly is on Smallville and the sincerity of it has been ruined for me because of the previous actions of some of the people involved. That being said, I wish Allison NOTHING but the best in her post Smallville career. She is a true innocent in all of this as is Erica Durance. And I send a huge congrats to the ENTIRE Smallville cast and crew on a great season.
    –From a long time, female, career-driven Smallville fan who loves Allison Mack but does not support the behavior of some of the people behind this project.

  22. Marie says:

    Thank you for this hilarious write up! I have always liked Chloe Sullivan and Allison Mack. I watched Smallville years ago, but I always loved that Chloe (and Lana) were both presented as smart, capable women and that is why they were able to run in league with Clark Kent and Lex Luthor.
    I think it's fantastic and amazing that not only did Allison's fans get this commercial made but aired in the two biggest stations for the CW Network. That is pretty amazing! I can't wait to see it when it hits here in NYC, and good on them for spending their time on promoting/supporting what they love (loved?) about the character.

  23. Sam says:

    I can't say I'm very surprised that some people will try and make this out to be about someone and something else just so they can undermine the project.
    It is true that people have long memories in this fandom. It's why I remember the same people who object to Erica Durance being bashed, supporting and bashing Allison Mack, calling her greedy (to put it mildly) amongst other things and wishing her off the show all of the time. They don't support the whole cast at all. They just pretend to. And they can't stand that her fans have done something nice for her.
    Thank you for the write-up :)

  24. Rawr says:

    This is a nice adverty thing and Chloe Sullivan is an alright character but really?
    All this indignant protestation that these fans aren't "fanboys and fangirls" and yet you still wonder… – why are you spending thousands, possible into the millions, of dollars to make an advert to honour a FICTIONAL character?
    Ermmm… I may be missing something but doctors and lawyers still can be sad and have an unbalanced view of what's important. Good for them for doing something so… bold, but honestly at its heart it's about an unhealthy investment in a fictional character who really isn't all that. Sure she can be sweet and brassy and strong and brave and whatever but she's actually a bit of a bitch and kind of snarky.
    AND SHE'S NOT REAL.
    Btw to anyone upset that Allison Mack is leaving Smallville – it was her choice to move on and do other things so really, if you're angry the only person you should be addressing that to is Allison Mack. And you have absolutely no right to. Good for her. Plus I feel bad for her that a certain section of her fans are kind of unhinged.

  25. David Ramey says:

    I think Chloe is so awesome because she was the one to inspirer clark to become a super heroe and she even inspired other young and up becoming heroes too.I think she a good roll model for lots of young people, that are trying to do something good in the world.

  26. Ellie says:

    Just found this article after all this time.
    Allison Mack is a doll and I wish her much success in her future career post Smallville.
    I totally understand why there have been some fans who have been critical about this campaign.
    Below is a screencap from one of the women involved in this project. I think that about says it all.
    http://www.fanhistory.com/img/e/ef/Tobywolf_20090
    Yes, she is clearly the image of professional integrity. In fact, I'm pretty sure that kind of behavior can get a person fired from most professional positions.
    Best of luck to Allison Mack. It's a shame she doesn't have classier fans.

  27. junior says:

    Congrats for this amazing article… We all love chloe.

  28. I think allison was the perfect fit to play chloe cuz a true talented actress like her is what keeps the show intrested cuz of the work she puts in..im a smallville fan and my reason for loving it was all becuz of clark and chloe my favorite characters and actor..i laghed,cried,worried etc with chloe very good work i aplude her…thank u for her recognition she deserves it

  29. We hope to see more coming projects with allison mack…especially with dc comics

  30. ROBERT says:

    smallville is the best there ever was abd will be

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