The issues surrounding Joss Whedon leaving Twitter and the threats and harassment he received that led to him leaving Twitter continue.
I’m seeing stuff like this on my feed; click this link for a bigger view if needed.
I think what bugs me most here are the people with Scarlet Witch avatars, both MCU and comics Wanda, participating in the harassment.
There may be problems with the way a creator, editor, executive, etc does something, or decisions they make. I still don’t believe problems in the Avengers films are Whedon’s fault, but if others believe it’s his fault, it’s fair to complain and criticize and demand positive change. I’d say it’s even fair to say very negative, possibly insulting things in general forums and discussion.
It’s another story when you’re sending direct messages to a person telling them they’re trash, or that they’re human scum, or that they ruined your life. You’re no longer criticizing or just airing grievances. At that point, you’re sending targeted harassment and trying to make a person feel bad.
I’m not a Scarlet Witch fan right now; I’m a Polaris fan that loves the idea of Lorna and Wanda spending time together as sisters, one that had hoped Marvel would turn me into a Wanda fan by exposing me to Wanda’s good qualities through Lorna. I didn’t see Age of Ultron, either. I don’t have any right to say if most of the complaints are justified or not.
But as a Polaris fan, I know I wouldn’t want to see other fans sending targeted harassment like the examples above at anyone no matter how shitty they treated her. This is why I and other Lorna fans on ComicBookResources (CBR) 3 years ago stopped discussing comments made by one of Marvel’s editors in the Polaris thread. Some people were directly harassing that editor over his responses to questions and comments about Lorna.
Make no mistake: I’m NOT saying to be gentle and defang criticism if you have it. I’ve made no secret that I consider Motomu Toriyama at Square-Enix to be a sexist hack that’s ruined many great franchises. I’m someone that left CBR when their admin threatened to ban me just for saying the higher-ups at Disney and Marvel IN GENERAL, not even naming names, are being greedy and selfish.
If your complaints are justified, you do not need to mob Joss Whedon or any other person with targeted harassment like this. All you need to do is spread word about why it’s wrong, not give the company money until they get their shit together, and urge others to follow your lead.
You don’t even have to boycott everything a company does. Don’t like what they did to your favorite character in Age of Ultron, but love the new female Thor? Then keep reading female Thor, which shows you support that direction, but refuse to see Age of Ultron, which shows you have a serious problem with what they did there. If it’s serious enough to you, you can boycott more; I’m refusing to touch anything Marvel right now unless it features Polaris, with possible exceptions to other X-Men comics, because of what they did to the Magnus family in the comics. It’s not all or nothing. You have options.
Marvel also likes to denigrate fan reaction to complaints, but don’t be fooled; they know the power fans have and they’re afraid. But there’s a “good” fear and a “bad” fear. You want the “good” fear, where they’re losing money and public perception of them is taking a serious hit until they shape up. You do NOT want “bad” fear, where you look like a bully trying to terrorize people until you get your way.
The latter is dangerous. It’s especially dangerous today, because people opposed to positive change, positive depictions use those latter cases as ammunition for the idea that culture should regress. Look at GamerGate.
I will probably have more to say in the future. This is all I have to say at the moment.