The harassment of the toxic fandom of the Justice League Snyder Cut

Once again the label #RestoreTheSnyderVerse social networks became a trend. It’s the third time in less than two weeks, right after the premiere of the Justice League Snyder Cut.. It is the fandom’s latest attempt to influence Warner’s decisions, after the success of the film, which was released in HBO Max. But behind this seemingly innocuous movement hides an immense toxicity that has also affected other productions and franchises such as Star Wars and even the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In fact, the label #RestoreTheSnyderVerse gathers a series of insulting comments against studio executives and even direct threats. A considerable number of fans insist that the universe created by Zack snyder Must be DC Extended Universe canon, despite studio denial.

The situation has become so complicated that even the visible heads of the studio are concerned. Less than a week ago, the CEO of WarnerMedia, Ann sarnoff, told Variety that this is “intolerable” behavior, which is also beyond reasonable.

Now, the circumstance is even more violent. For weeks, a group of fans positioned among the trends of Twitter two hashtags: #RestoreTheSnyderVerse –In relation to the validation of the Snyder Cut from The Justice League– and #ReleaseTheAyerCut –Referring to David Ayer’s cut from Suicide Squad. In both cases, constantly attacking Warner employees and managers up to the point of harassment.

The situation reached such an overwhelming level that Sarnoff reacted publicly, days after the premiere of the Justice League Snyder Cut.

“We will not tolerate any of that. That behavior is reprehensible no matter what franchise you’re talking about or what business you’re talking about. I’m very disappointed with the fandom that chose to go to that negative place regarding DC, regarding some of our executives. “

Ann Sarnoff for Variety.

This is an unusual reaction and, in fact, one of the few that toxic fandom has provoked since the phenomenon took place. For many of those responsible for the image of actors in Hollywood, the scandal was not a problem. The more noise around movies or projects – good or bad – the more visibility.

However, a new era has arrived in which directors, actors, producers and other visible heads related to cinema or TV series seem to stop keeping silence in the face of the most toxic wing of fanaticism. And everything indicates that with the case of the Snyder Cut of La Liga de Justicia, a before and after will be marked.

An awkward fandom journey towards aggression: from ‘Star Wars’ to ‘Justice League’

Lucasfilm / Disney

On December 2017, the release of The Last Jedi from Rian Johnson opened a frontal debate among Star Wars fans. The film, which made a direct break with all sorts of canon basics, was a shock to a very devoted fandom. But the discussion about the plot turned into something more worrying: the harassment of its actors. Especially against the actress Kelly marie tran.

The interpreter endured a series of violent criticisms and harassment on social media due to her portrayal of Rose. A significant number of fans considered his character to be “a concession to political correctness.” For weeks, Tran endured sexist and racist insults. In 2018, left social networks.

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The same happened with the actress Daisy ridley, which erased all public presence on the internet. And although his situation was not directly related to his character in Star Wars, his position in the saga increased the virulence of the attack. Ridley had voiced opinions about gun victims in the US, sparking a wave of online harassment. In the end, he explained to Buzzfeed that he couldn’t deal with such a phenomenon.

Neither in the case of Tran nor in the case of Ridley, the executives of Disney they demonstrated in his defense. In fact, Tran’s character was practically eliminated from The Rise of Skywalker in 2019. The actress was shocked by the director’s decision JJ Abrams to cut most of his scenes.

And while there was no official statement on the matter, the widespread feeling was that the decision was simply a demonstration of the increased power of the most toxic fandom in Star wars.

It was not the first time that any of the large film studios kept a worrying silence in the face of similar attacks. In 2016, Sony Pictures he had no opinion when the Ghostbusters movie was attacked by a violent and misogynistic fandom. Neither did Marvel studios when a group of fans violated the Rotten Tomatoes rating system against Captain Marvel.

In the end, the lesson seemed to be to take advantage of the media noise, whether or not it was positive or uplifting. However, by 2021 the situation seems to have changed substantially.

Superman in black suit in the Snyder Cut from Justice LeagueSuperman in a black suit in the ‘Snyder Cut’ from ‘Justice League’

A change of attitude on the part of the studies?

Often, studies only tend to manifest themselves in situations that can put high-caliber productions at risk. For example, months ago, actress Gina Carano was fired as an employee of Disney after spreading anti-Semitic comments. The case was discussed and there was a complicated debate about the intervention of the study in a similar situation.

Lucasfilm said after his dismissal that “Social media posts that denigrate people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable”. In extreme cases like this, when they really intervene.

But in the wake of Sarnoff’s recent reactions, rejecting the most toxic wing of the Justice League’s Snyder Cut fandom, a new phase seems to be marking between studio and audience relationships.

Support for actors and production team, perhaps the first step to stop targeted bullying on social media. Especially at a time when space and virtual conversation are of considerable importance in the visibility of movies and television series.