Chuck Wendig has just been fired by Marvel for apparent vulgarity on his social media and it may set a dangerous precedent for future artists.
Where are we going as a society? It’s a valid question. It’s maybe a question that does not belong in this forum, and yet for many reasons it absolutely does.
In a world where art has always imitated life, why are so many people getting bent out of shape when modern art imitates our current reality?
We live perhaps in the second-most politically charged time in the history of this nation. It’s hard not to get caught up in the news cycle, despite our best efforts. And this is why I call Marvel’s handling of Chuck Wendig ridiculous. They hired him to write and produce art, it’s incredible hard to do so when you can’t authentically be yourself or express yourself.
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They hired Chuck Wendig knowing full well how he expressed himself in regards to his beliefs. They perhaps even hired him due to his beliefs. And yet in the age of toxic fandoms, it fired him because some of those fans out there are feigning outrage over some tweets?
Chuck Wendig received the same treatment James Gunn was given. The former director of Guardians of the Galaxy was unceremoniously cast off after some dark humor was uncovered on his twitter feed. Once again Marvel is caving to toxic fans. It’s setting a dangerous precedent for fandom in the world.
Is this the best Era for fandom or has it become the worst?
This is the greatest era to be a fan of anything. Because of the internet, social media and podcasts, we have been able to get as close as we can to everything we love. Our ability to interact with our favorite stars, directors and writers is unprecedented.
However when did we all want everyone to think exactly as we do? The vitriol that is spewed when these people don’t share our visions for the things we love or, outside of the fandom, our political beliefs is downright shameful. Since when did we all become so afraid to be challenge by the way someone else thinks?
NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 08: A view of fans dressed as characters from the Star Wars movie at 2016 New York Comic Con on October 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
In turn this could be the worst era of fandom. We don’t own any of this, we’re merely the audience. If you don’t like what you’re reading or seeing, you can close the book or turn the dial. It’s not up to artists like Chuck Wendig to give you what you want, or to believe what you believe. It’s merely his job to write a compelling story. And if you don’t like his opinions or his tweets you could have simply unfollowed him.
Are we going to call for everyone to get fired?
If as fans we’re going to be in the business of trying to get everyone whom we don’t agree with fired, we’ll never get new art. If art doesn’t reflect life, we’ll never learn from it. And if we only get what we want, we’ll never make new discoveries.
It’s unfortunate we won’t be getting Wendig’s Shadow of Vader series. He’s been a great auteur for the new canon. But a small pocket of fans got what they wanted. They’ve fired their shot and now “it’s as if a million voices suddenly cried out in terror,” but these voices won’t be silenced.