Chuck Wendig has been making a stir lately on Twitter. He recently went on a profanity laced rant where he doubled down his attack on his customers calling them “white supremacists.” He then threatened to sue some folks over a parody T-shirt. His most recent rant might be the most bizarre as he claims he doesn’t create products and the people who do buy his products aren’t customers.

Wendig describes the rant as his Ted Talk and tries to explain that as a writer he does not create products and he doesn’t have customers.

No, Mr. Wendig that isn’t what people want from you. The point is you cannot blindly trash fans and customers and expect them not to push back. That’s not how a market works. Companies cannot take a swipe at their consumers and expect them to continue purchasing their products.

He continues in his tirade pointing out he wasn’t able to answer a question by a fan. Again that isn’t what people are talking about. No expects Chuck Wendig to answer every single question he’s asked about Star Wars.

It took a few tweets, but I believe this was the original intent behind this tweet-fest by Wendig:

No, what movements like #comicsgate and what now looks to be #StarWarsGate are saying is that you cannot insert your political agendas into products from a beloved IP such as Star Wars.  Or go after Star Wars fans by labeling them as racists.

No one is saying you can’t express your political opinions or that they have to neatly align with anyone’s. They just don’t want those personal political opinions taking over the IP you have been entrusted with. And if you are going to express political opinions using the brand, you aren’t free from the consequences of those ideas. People can and will challenge you.

No one is expecting Chuck Wendig or any other “artist” to be a customer service expert.  This isn’t a one-way relationship where you create, and us as the customer are then expected to buy. The creator, consumer relationship is a two-way street. People do expect some civility. You don’t get to label people you do not like with wild names and nasty accusations while writing for an IP you didn’t create.

From there Chuck attempts to use a coffee maker spraying cat pee as an analogy to why you have to “judge” services by tasks and what not. It doesn’t really make sense. But this is where the story takes a very interesting turn.

Except Wendig was given a license by Disney and Lucasfilm to create a Star Wars story that would then be sold to the rabid Star Wars fanbase. The book was specifically created to be sold to customers. Wendig might not see it like that, but that’s just the cold hard facts. He’s not getting to write under the Star Wars brand without the hope for a return on investment.

And while he’s technically right that stories “work or don’t work universally;” they can be panned by a gigantic audience as being terrible like Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

No, we’re both. I, like any potential buyer of a product, am a consumer. I consume what you create. If what you create is good, then I will recommend it others and they will also potentially consume it and then in turn while they are consuming said piece of entertainment they become an audience. These two ideas aren’t mutually exclusive.

His last point is actually a very fair one.

Wendig was instantly rebuked by Aaron Sparrow, writer of Darkwing Duck and Warcraft: Family Values in his own “Ted Talk.”

This is a very good point that Aaron has, that many “artists” fail to grasp. There is a responsibility when you take over an IP that you didn’t create. That responsibility is more important to the end product than any agenda you want to squeeze in.

Aaron makes an excellent point about demands, expectations, and just business.

The fact is the vast majority of fans aren’t these demanding people. What they are, are normal people who should be respected, even if they don’t share your political opinion. Chuck doesn’t have a monopoly on who is allowed to read Star Wars books.

Now here is the reality of the world that Aaron lays down:

Just because you create a product doesn’t make you a “writing monkey,” but at the same time, you do owe some respect to the people you hope to buy your product. At the end of the day, if being a “Big A” artist is more important, then no one is stopping you.

Right here, by taking on the IP you’ve also inherited the fans. Most are great human beings from all walks of life. Just because you write for the IP doesn’t take away from the responsibility you took on as the writer.

Former Vanilla World of Warcraft team leader Mark Kern also echoed Aaron’s sediments about art and the arts. As it relates to selling a product.

Kern lays it out pretty clear, Chuck Wendig’s job as a Star Wars author is to entertain.  It’s not to call fans “racists” and “white supremacists.”

Chuck Wendig pretty much got it all wrong in his epic rant and he got called out on it by his peers. If you want to be commercially viable you are then privy to the forces of the markets, thus you have customers and create products.