Multiple media outlets including ScreenRant, Collider, and Vulture attacked fans following Zack Snyder and Henry Cavill’s announcement that a Zack Snyder’s Director’s Cut of Justice League would be arriving on HBO Max in 2021.
Vulture Makes It All About The Identity Politics
Vulture’s Abraham Riesman describes fans who campaigned for the Snyder Cut as bullies.
He makes it clear from the beginning his article has nothing to actually do with fandom, but is purely political. The second sentence references Donald Trump and Brexit and he deems Snyder Cut supporters as “déclassé outsiders.” He looks down his nose and sneers at people who want to see Zack Snyder’s vision for Justice League.
“In retrospect, it was inevitable. It’s like Brexit or Donald Trump’s clinching of the presidency: first, you hear that it happened; then, even if you wanted it to happen, you’re shocked.”
He then bemoans:
“These people aren’t supposed to be calling the shots. They’re déclassé outsiders, drunk on atavistic rage and viciously abusive toward their foes — such people are destined to be at the fringe, not the hub of power.”
Just as a reminder the actual Justice League actors have all shown their support for the Snyder Cut including Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, and Henry Cavill. When he broadly generalizes about Snyder Cut fans, one has to assume he’s also talking about the actors and Zack Snyder himself. They all campaigned for the Snyder Cut afterall.
Reisman’s politicization of the Snyder Cut movement continues when he declares supporters as partisans in a culture war revolving around identity politics. Riesman writes, “The reason this conflagration has burned so bright is that it came at an inflection point in a massive culture war in geekdom.”
He then makes it clear that the culture war is about identity politics, “Throughout the early 2010s, nerdy products ranging from video games and comic books to, yes, movies, started to evince a greater degree of inclusion for marginalized identities both in the content and behind-the-scenes.”
He describes Snyder Cut fans as “soldiers on the front lines of the battle against Disney-owned Marvel’s predominance and approach, as well as all the ideas those things entail.”
Riesman even has the gall to write that he has no evidence to support his claims about Snyder Cut fans, but his authority and the authority of his other so-called geek writers make it so.
“It’s difficult to prove anything about a decentralized movement in the ephemeral world of digital media, but geek writers can confidently report to you that many of the Snyder Cut advocates are the same sorts of people who call out entertainment firms for “forced diversity” and capitulating to the “social justice warriors.””
After attacking Snyder Cut advocates he then returns to his main point about WarnerMedia making the Snyder Cut happen. Earlier in the article he deemed that the WarnerMedia announcing the Snyder Cut has let something dangerous loose on the world.
He goes on to explain this something dangerous is “a multibillion dollar corporation’s concession to its worst online critics.”
He believes this decision institutionalizes what he describes as abuse.
Riesman writes, “WB has, in its way, institutionalized this kind of behavior and dubbed it “enthusiasm” rather than “abuse,” whether they meant to or not.”
However, the article quickly goes off the rails. While trying to make this the whole point of his article, he actually argues against and lays out a theory that geek fans demanding a certain type of product has been around since the 90s and the Snyder Cut campaign is just a continuation of it.
He then returns to politicizing the entire Snyder Cut campaign by comparing it to people campaigning to open the economy.
Riesman writes, “That’s because, in essence, the release of the Snyder Cut was also inevitable due to the fact that it reinforces the power structures that dominate and brutalize the world these days.”
He continues and admits the whole purpose of the article is to promote his version of identity politics, “Sure, #ReleaseTheSnyderCut has a lot of grassroots support, but so does the movement to end quarantine restrictions — and, in both cases, the proponents are ultimately just pushing for a return to the way things used to be and the validation of (if you’ll forgive my naked identity politics, and no offense to Snyder) a straight, cis, and white man.”
In a shocking moment at the end of the article he calls for a societal collapse, “Maybe our nightmarish society will finally collapse before the Snyder Cut can see the light of day.”
Riesman and Vulture would not be alone with their identity politics. Collider’s Drew Taylor would echo a similar message.
Taylor also described Snyder Cut fans as bullies, “They bullied those who suggested that maybe the Snyder version, which would require tens of millions of dollars to finish the audio and visual effects, might actually be the worse version.”
He adds, “They bullied those who thought that the theatrically released version was good. But most of all they bullied Warner Bros., who clearly went in a completely different direction from what Snyder was planning.”
Again, I just want to remind readers that the cast of Justice League was part of the Release the Snyder Cut movement. Taylor is describing the actors who work for WarnerMedia as bullies. They are describing Zack Snyder as a bully.
In fact, Taylor makes it abundantly clear that he is describing both Snyder and the actors as bullies, “As Snyder eventually began stoking the movement, so too did several stars of the film (including Ben Affleck, Jason Momoa, Henry Cavill and Gal Gadot).”
Like Riesman, Taylor describes WarnerMedia’s decision to green light the Snyder Cut as “dangerous.” He writes, “The fact that Warner Bros. has not only acknowledged this incredibly obnoxious fan uproar but also agreed to, per their demands, #ReleaseTheSnyderCut, is mystifying and potentially dangerous.”
The article continues with the typical whining of a shill media lackey realizing his role in trying to tell people what to think is going the way of the dodo.
In fact Taylor calls for censorship of Snyder Cut advocates in order for his opinion to be the only one. He writes, “The internet already gave them a voice when they shouldn’t have had one.”
That’s right if you express a different opinion than the great Collider writer Drew Taylor you should not have a voice. Just rip out those vocal cords because they are completely worthless. Only Drew Taylor’s opinion matters on this subject, you low class serf.
Taylor eventually comes to the conclusion that a giant multimillion dollar company is the ultimate victim in the whole Snyder Cut campaign. He writes, “Warner Bros. has been bullied worst of all (not that their behavior regarding Snyder’s dismissal was all that admirable) and they have responded in kind: Here, just have it, now leave me alone.”
If you believe that I have some ocean front property in Kansas that I would love to sell you.
But maybe the worst part of this article by Collider, is his treatment of Zack Snyder. Taylor writes, “Snyder agreed to provide something and didn’t follow through.”
Snyder exited the production of Justice League in 2017 following the suicide of his daughter Autumn. His daughter died. Let that sink in.
ScreenRant Goes The Misogynist Route
Not to be outdone by Collider and Vulture, CBR’s sister website ScreenRant would chime in with their own take about how the Snyder Cut “sets a bad precedent for Hollywood.”
Writer Thomas Bacon declares “the Justice League Snyder Cut marks a subtle shift in the balance of power between studios and the fan base – and that may not be a good thing going forward.”
And like Vulture and Collider he declares the fan base is toxic. He writes, “But the most toxic fans won’t see it that way. Inspired by the success of the Justice League Snyder Cut campaign, they will continue to exert their influence over other studios, networks, and streaming services.”
Surprising no one, Bacon also deems Snyder Cut proponents as harassers who specifically targeted critics, “Over the years, many people – critics, especially – were targets of online harassment and hate, with some receiving threats as well.”
However, Bacon does describe parts of the Snyder Cut fans as a “tremendous force for good.”
He writes, “All this bitterness and anger has to be acknowledged and confronted, but the Snyder Cut campaign was also a tremendous force for good.” He points to how they raised over $100,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
But that moment of clarity was short-lived. He then describes Snyder Cut proponents as “bullies and misogynists.”
Bacon declares, “Rather, it is the bullies and misogynists – the people who tore the fan base apart and who gave DC fans a bad name – who will believe themselves vindicated.”
The people who tore the fanbase apart are the studios who embraced the values of access media journalists rather than the values the characters in the comic books had been espousing for years. Describing fans who have an opinion about a movie that differs from yours as “bullies and misogynists” or “toxic” drives fandom apart.
Reducing iconic characters to shells of their former glory doesn’t just drive fandom apart, it drives it away entirely.
What Bacon is doing in this article is the epitome of driving the fandom apart.
He concludes his article stating that the Snyder Cut announcement is “very bad precedent for Hollywood” and as I’ve highlighted above it’s because he deems proponents of the Snyder Cut are bad people.
Now, tell me again who is dividing the fandom? The people who have an opinion about a film and the characters in the film that might disagree with yours or the person writing an article calling those people all sorts of names?