Zack Snyder’s Betrayal of Geeks & Gamers Eclipsed by Mainstream Pile-On

 

 

Filmmaker Zack Snyder, whose special director’s cut for the Justice League movie is airing on HBO Max, was special guest on a Geeks & Gamers associated podcast to promote a charity and discuss what had been a big campaign to get his editing job released for official viewing, and it’s most regrettable he had to make alienating, potentially political statements that should’ve been avoided. But additionally angering is how mainstream news sources like The Wrap are talking about this, smearing the channel as “alt-right”:

 

“Zack Snyder’s Justice League” has finally seen the light of day on HBO Max, but that’s not the only way Zack Snyder made waves Wednesday night. On a charity stream celebrating the launch of the Snyder Cut, the director slammed the alt-right YouTube channel Geeks + Gamers, which had been a vocal part of the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut crowd.

It was a bit of a surprising thing for Snyder to say, because the stream he was on was hosted by Uche Nwaneri, a Geeks + Gamers contributor.

“Just a quick thing before we get started,” Snyder said as he was introduced about an hour into the charity livestream.

“I know that on our donation page, we still have the Geeks + Gamers logo. I just wanted to say that I really — we talked about this and we’re really not associated with Geeks + Gamers as far as I’m concerned. I really wanna make that clear.”

For those not familiar with Geeks + Gamers, they’re the sort of YouTube channel that posts videos with Fox News-esque toxic right-wing nerd titles like: “Lucasfilm Keeps DISRESPECTING Gina Carano and Star Wars Fans” and “High Republic Host Doesn’t Like White People | This is Kathleen Kennedy’s LUCASFILM” and “CANCELED For Wrong Opinions | Game Journalists Hate Video Games.”

 

Unsurprisingly, they’re ambiguous about what Epicstream explained more clearly:

 

I know that on our donation page, we still have the Geeks & Gamers logo. I just want to say, I really talk about this, we are really not affiliated with Geeks & Gamers as far as I am concerned. I really just want to make that clear. I also wanna just say, that in light of recent events, if Justice League teaches us anything it’s about coming together and there’s no room for hate. I just think that it’s an important message. As a father of Asian children, it really hits close to home. For me, I just want to put it out there, there’s no room for hate and that’s just what it’s about.

 

What happened in Atlanta, Georgia, if that’s what he alluded to, was abominable, though as some news sources have noted, the criminal does not appear to have committed the offense out of racial motivations, but rather, because he was a sex addict who thought that was the worst thing that could happen, and that violence was the best way to deal with it. And the worst part is that Robert Long, the creepy looking culprit with a beard, committed the crime under the guise of religious moralist. I guess because the left has such an anti-sex agenda by modern standards, they chose to sweep that part under the rug and go for what they thought was a racial angle.

 

All that aside, it’s disgraceful the Wrap chose to drag partisan politics into this, all because they can’t stand the idea of perceived right-wingers being pop culture fans, to the point they’d obscure the exact issue at hand. This seems to be the exact problem with modern liberals: they don’t want half the country to be their fans, yet they don’t have the courage to advertise that way. And they ignore that leftists are the ones discriminating against Asians, the kowtowing to China’s commies notwithstanding, and a lot of the anti-Asian hate crimes appear to be committed by Blacks. On which note, if the Atlanta perpetrator had been Black, what are the chances this tragic incident would never have made headlines?

 

If you want to know why Snyder made his statement, however, Epicstream got an explanation:

 

Uche Nwaneri, an ex-footballer, was the main organizer of the livestream fundraiser event. In response to what Snyder said, Jeremy and a few others went on another livestream. Nwaneri said that there was an incident when Snyder shot a Green Lantern scene but was told by the studio to not proceed with it. If he does, they will shut down the production.

Nwaneri said that the same thing happened with the Geeks & Gamers situation. The studio allegedly told Snyder to distance himself from Geeks & Gamers. The ex-footballer also said that when Snyder talked to the studio, Snyder defended them but the last thing he was told was, “Do you want this movie?” If this is true, it means the studio made Snyder choose between Geeks & Gamers who have supported his vision for DC or his film.

 

Be that as it may, it doesn’t make this any less disappointing. Especially when you consider the atrocious mainstream sites using this incident as an excuse to villify fandoms. However, it does hint what’s gone wrong in any particular way with how WB’s been handling Green Lantern.

 

I found another site called Your Money Geek that’s pretty left-wing themselves, and their attack was very nasty:

 

The fundraiser occurred a day after a white man murdered eight people, including six Asian women, at Atlanta-area spas. While law enforcement agencies have not cited Anti-Asian biases as a motivation for the heinous attack, it follows a year-long campaign of racially-motivated rhetoric that has led to an alarmingly high number of Anti-Asian attacks which have predominately targeted Asian women.

You may be wondering what the correlation is between the March 16th attack and why Snyder felt the need to speak out against participants of the fundraiser. Geeks + Gamers and their known associates across YouTube and other social media platforms have a long and detailed history of racist, sexist, and bigoted attacks against franchises that they perceive as pushing “woke” narratives. In other words, they have targeted any franchise that has featured women and BIPOC in prominent roles in their stories.

 

Same old cliched demonization tactics, by the kind of people who appropriate Jewish creations to ultimately exploit for furthering their own political agendas. The writer is the kind of person who ignores leftist racism against Asians, and refuses to accept that forcibly removing white protagonists from their roles for the sake of POC can be damaging and lacking in artistic merit. Unshockingly, the Mary Sue followed up on the prior site’s villification:

 

Of course the people of Geeks + Gamers have turned against Snyder in some way following this, but I think, while this might be a little too late for many—it is time he addressed that segment of his fans.

 

So whoever the writer is, is somebody who literally believes anybody associated with a group like Geeks & Gamers is scum. We get the picture.

 

I’m on the record of being wishy-washy about the Snyder Cut. My opinions change often depending on new information (like any person), and the toxicity of many behind the SnyderCut is off putting. Snyder himself, however, seems to be a decent person. People who work with him like him, he is an advocate for diversity, and he hasn’t even had a whiff of a MeToo scandal, unlike so many others.

My feelings on his films and his Randian ideology that is apparent in his films are not a hatred of him personally, which is something that people forget. Criticism about his work and his filmmaking choices were never a blight on his personhood. Creative differences are just that, and as a DC fan, I’m allowed to disagree with a take on one of my favorite superheroes.

As a fan, it is frustrating that because of some cult-like overseers, we are not allowed to have an unvarnished opinion on this film. Whatever we feel will be viewed in “a way,” and that’s not a fun experience going into any movie—let alone a movie about characters you like. I own every DCEU film out so farm and I’m gonna continue to watch them and support them when they are good, but my biggest hope is after this we can all take a breath … and move on.

 

As expected, somebody who parrots, and bases her “opinions” on politics, rather than separate the art from artist. Did it ever occur most of the people involved with the podcast may have had a disappointed opinion of the film 4 years ago, when it debuted in theaters, due to all the studio interference hinted at here? I have no idea if Snyder’s really a follower of Ayn Rand, as Steve Ditko was, but based on his MO, it’s hard to buy into this rather muddled defense.

 

And who says we care if you do or don’t like the JL movie? I myself stopped watching a lot of these in past years, because it was clear the people involved cared far less about the zygote than the cinematic material. Another of the reasons I can’t care for this movie is because of the disfavor they do to a certain little superhero called the Atom. As this Polygon puff piece notes, the spotlight is on Ryan Choi, rather than Ray Palmer, in a telling example of the producers’ social justice mindset and checkboxes, while obscuring how the SJW-pandering character came about:

 

Then, this week, the official Snyder Cut Twitter account shared a mock permission slip for fans to “use” to get a day off to watch the four hour streaming event. It was signed by none other than Dr. Ryan Choi.

In the Snyder Cut itself, Ryan Choi is a Star Labs researcher. But who is he in DC Comics?

[…] Created by Gail Simone (Wonder Woman, Secret Six, Deadpool), Ryan Choi is one in a line of characters who’ve taken on the moniker of the Atom, the DC Universe’s resident shrinky hero.

(The very first Atom was actually just a short guy who was really strong, but he’s not really germane to our discussion of Ryan.)

In comics, Choi is a protege of Ray Palmer — whom you might know from various Arrowverse shows where he is played by Brandon Routh (Superman Returns) — and was close enough to his mentor that Palmer passed on his size-changing belt to Choi.

 

They may explain who he is (superficially, alas), but not how he came about: it was after Identity Crisis, the 2004 Brad Meltzer-penned miniseries, notorious for the sight of Elongated Man’s wife Susan Dibny being anally raped by supervillain Dr. Light, in quite an out-of-character portrayal for a Silver Age villain who was never characterized as that bankrupt till the turn of the century. Aside from minimizing the issue of sexual assault, it capped off its alarmingly negative, fanfiction-ish portrayals of women by branding Palmer’s ex-wife Jean Loring as the culprit in one of the most illogical scenes possible, and a subsequent news headline telling she’d been molested in prison, which was dismissed by Animal Man, compounding the offensive structure further.

 

At the conclusion, Ray’s depicted slinking away in shame (IIRC, it’s claimed he told her all the secret IDs possible, as if turning Jean into a witch wasn’t bad enough), and this repellent storyline later leads to his Asian replacement. And Polygon, in all their biases, seems quite curiously oblivious to this, a storyline that wouldn’t pass muster in the post-Harvey Weinstein era. Such a supposedly socially concerned site, and they chose to ignore all this? Confirming social justice concern for “inclusion” trumps even the most repellent excuses for “art”. What DC did at the time Dan DiDio was their EIC was so offensive, it finally discouraged me from reading their output in over 15 years since, and was one of the reasons I got into this blogging gig. Even now, several years after they finally jettisoned the story from canon, so much of a shambles has been left, I can’t feel encouraged to return.

 

So you see, this is another reason why I’m just not up to bothering about Snyder’s League movie – because it relies too obviously on material that was meant for politically motivated pandering, and all the while Palmer’s otherwise kicked to the curb, under the producers’ confidence nobody in the press will comment on whether they went about this in good taste or not. Did I mention how unappealing the costume designs in the League movie look? Yes, seriously, all those leather-like linings just don’t have the appeal what was seen in the original comics of the past did, which were simpler, and better. What’s so “good” about this?

 

John Nolte at Breitbart reviewed the new edition, and argues the biggest problem is that it’s very long:

 

It’s broken into six chapters followed by a reeeeeally long epilogue, and there’s no natural place where you can stop, go on with your day, and return to it tomorrow. This is one movie. One sit. And it’s a reeeeeally long movie.

Granted, I’m glad I saw it and was only bored in a few parts. The 30-minute epilogue, however, is pretty excruciating and promises a sequel. Nevertheless, I will never watch it again. Ever.

Did it need to be four hours long? No. Countless scenes go on too long and repeat the same information. Between that and the epilogue, this sucker could have been trimmed to 160 minutes easy.

 

And why is Batman the main recruiter here? Too obvious a choice, as usual, IMO, based on what I’ve felt about how the Bat’s been put to use these past years. And why the lack of humor, as noted in the following?

 

We get tons of backstory, two extended flashbacks (one on Wonder Woman’s all-woman island where a sense of humor and cleavage have been outlawed), at least an hour of slow motion scenes, and a number of big action sequences. Some of it works. Some of it doesn’t. All of it looks fake, looks like it was created in a computer, and the overall aura of the movie is so grey and oppressive, by chapter four you want to take a Xanax.

The Snyder Cut is never much fun. It takes itself seriously, too seriously, and wants you to take it seriously. The only attempt at comic relief is Ezra Miller’s young Flash, but his nebbish, gee whiz act gets pretty old pretty quick. Other than that, there’s a sense of self-importance that’s never earned because the stakes never feel real. Not for a moment did I believe the earth or a single one of our heroes was in any sort of danger.

 

This is a problem that’s plagued DC output since the turn of the century – a lack of mirth and escapism. To say nothing of grimy elements that make it harder to laugh if there’s any funny moments at all. And no, it’s not limited to just DC. Even Marvel drained a lot of humor potential from their output under Quesada/Alonso, and no doubt, some of the Marvel movies make it hard to laugh (Capt. Marvel, maybe?). And whatever challenges and menaces faced by the stars are unconvincing amid a torrent of special effects. Which could explain why I got so tired of all these special effects-mired blockbusters in over 20 years. Mainly because the acting talent seems to matter far less to the filmmakers.

 

I may not resent those who think Snyder’s vision is such a big deal, but if there’s PC elements in the script and casting, then I find it hard to see what the fuss is about. At least this whole debacle could serve as an important warning that higher echelons at these entertainment companies clearly are forcing their employees to make divisive statements that could alienate the customers, all because they don’t want to be seen identifying with perceived right-wingers, even though there’s liberals out there whom they’re bound to despise as well. Certainly, it’s bad when studio execs put their subjects between a rock and a hard place. But in the end, it’s still no excuse, and even if Snyder doesn’t owe an apology, the studio heads most certainly do. But alas, it’s not difficult to guess they never will offer one, nor will the press sources who smeared the podcast producers.

 

Originally published here.

 

UPDATE:

Geeks & Gamers’ Jeremy Griggs responds to the controversy and explains some of the behind the scenes developments that led up to the incident. 

 

The Truth - Zack Snyder Livestream Controversy Fully EXPLAINED

 

Avi Green

Avi Green was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. He enjoyed reading comics when he was young, the first being Fantastic Four. He maintains a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy of facts. He considers himself a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. Follow him on his blog at Four Color Media Monitor or on Twitter at @avigreen1

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