The announcement of a new film based on the events of Gamergate has sparked a massive wave of anger and outrage amongst internet personalities who ‘opposed’ the internet controversy.
The film was first revealed to be in production on October 30th, when The Hollywood Reporter exclusively announced that “Ellen Page and Paris Berelc are starring in 1UP, an underdog comedy set in the world of gaming that Kyle Newman will direct for BuzzFeed Studios.”
1UP will be the first film produced by the newly founded BuzzFeed Studios, formed as a joint venture between the news outlet and Lionsgate, which aims “to develop, produce and distribute a multi-picture slate of socially relevant and high-concept feature films for global millennial and Gen Z audiences.”
Described as “Pitch Perfect but set in the world of eSports” by scriptwriter Julia Yorks, the film “centers on a female gamer named Vivian Lee who quits her college eSports team rather than put up with sexism from her male counterparts.”
“But with her scholarship on the line, she is forced to assemble a Varsity-caliber, all-women’s team that can compete with the boys. With the help of an enigmatic coach who returns to the spotlight after her own GamerGate scandal, the young woman recruits an unlikely crew of unskilled misfits to kick some serious gamer butt.”
Almost immediately following its public announcement, 1UP was met with a wave of criticism and backlash from internet personalities who were involved in Gamergate to varying degrees.
DC and Marvel Comics author Zoe Quinn, whose personal life acted as the catalyst for the event after ex-boyfriend Eron Gjoni accused her of infidelity and trading sexual favors for positive press coverage, sarcastically commented “wow what a “fun” idea. assholes.”
Though she has since leveraged her post-Gamergate narrative and personality to mainstream success, including an invitation to speak to the United Nations, a memoir, and a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $85,000 USD for a game that she has failed to update her backers on in over two years, Quinn claimed that “the alt-right mob he drummed up basically seems to have won the disinformation wars given the replies to this.”
Some have speculated that Quinn’s anger is in part directed towards the fact that Buzzfeed was able to successfully produce a Gamergate-related film, as her Gamergate-centric memoir, Crash Override: How to Save the Internet From Itself, failed to materialize after it was optioned for a film in 2015, with reports at the time indicating that Scarlett Johansson was interested in playing the lead role.
Former congressional candidate and Revolution 60 creator Brianna Wu, who became involved in the controversy after posting inflammatory tweets critical of Gamergate supporters and writing a piece claiming that “Metroid’s Samus Aran is a Transgender Woman. Deal With It.” for The Mary Sue, lamented how “the worst event of my life is being turned into a comedy.”
In response to a tweet by Marvel’s Spider Man voice actress Felicia Day, in which the notable nerd-culture personality declared “shame on this project and the people making it,” Wu stated that she was “1000% in agreement” and found it “mystifying why @EllenPage would participate in something making a comedy out of something that traumatized so many women in the game industry.”
“Fuck this disgusting “gaming comedy” idea “set to a gamergate backdrop” to the absolute highest percentage that math can possibly calculate,” said Vlambeer founder and outspoken video game culture critic Rami Ismail.
Jennifer Scheurle, who until recently was a Lead Game Designer for Guild Wars II developer Arenanet, asserted that “maybe your movie idea sucks if all the people who’s lives have been negatively affected by the topic you’re trying to cover are disgusted by the whole thing.”
“It’s not too late to cancel the whole thing and walk away,” she concluded.
The announcement that Fanboys and Taylor Swift music video director (‘Style’, ‘Clean’) Kyle Newman is set to direct the film also sparked backlash due to a history of abuse alleged by his ex-wife, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and Star Wars: The Clone Wars actress Jamie King
Earlier this year, in pursuit of a divorce, King justified her request for a restraining order against Newman by claiming that the director was emotionally abusive, even going so far as to prevent her from communicating with her children.
However, Newman responded to King with his own claims that the actress was not only herself abusive, but also “a chronic drug addict and alcoholic who refuses to acknowledge that she has a problem, let alone seek meaningful treatment for such problem.”