‘She-Ra’ Herself Criticizes Netflix’s Reboot Marketing Tactics

When the new version of She-Ra was announced back in July of this year, and the titular heroine looked quite different from the ’80s series many people grew up with. While many defended the new look and still hope that the new version mythical warrior princess will empower a whole new generation of young women when it hits Netflix next month, many fans of the original angrily criticized the new design. Right on cue, the progressive media was quick to mock and scold them.

Many geek culture websites piled on the fan-scolding. Twitter erupted in even more laughter towards anyone who criticized the new version.








However, some people understood there was some validity to the criticisms and eloquently expressed them as best they could. James Murphy, a long time He-Man fan writing at Movie Viral penned an epic piece explaining his issues with the reimagining:

Don’t like the look of the new SHE-RA? Maybe you just favour the older animation style? Nope. You are just WRONG! OFF MESSAGE! You have an AGENDA!. Ok, they don’t QUITE put it like that. Except ‘they’ (being those who hold the keys to trending media topics in many cases) kind of..do. Stirring conflict /controversy in the absence of genuine hype. Well, NERDIST do, anyway. They’re not reviewing or even PRE-Viewing the new Netflix version of 80s cartoon icon, She-Ra. Instead, they provide advance apology for/defence of the show’s aesthetic and moral politics. Presented by someone who is blonde, beautiful and kinda like the old school. She-Ra. How progressive? Ironic, more like. Vexing.

Your own nostalgia is being weaponised against you: less rose tinted as tainted goggles being imposed upon your eyes, only to to be stripped with darkly divisive method


To be fair, I’ve only digested the trailer. So, quite rightly and fairly, the online defence systems would say ‘YOU CANNOT JUDGE SOMETHING YOU HAVE NOT YET WATCHED!’. I would agree. Absolutely. Except these are the very same ‘types’ that are also citing, quoting and USING the existing online criticism AS a marketing tool.

‘Don’t like She-Ra/ Well you are a GROWN MAN!
Isn’t it WEIRD to think about a CARTOON?’
‘Judge not, lest ye be judged’!
Don’t dismiss the new show you have not watched; but you should not be watching it anyway so ending your platform for comment.

Very clever.  NOWHERE to hide.  I shall just retreat to my bunker of 1980s worldviews, shall I?


But it is perfectly possible and indeed, normal, to be able to look, in passing, at the She-Ra of the 1980s and her counterpart today and think ‘hmmm: she was lovelier in the previous iteration’

As in: I think the animation, drawing, aesthetic and the underlying morality were simpler, cooler and just BETTER , before.

Fine: enjoy your newer version. Feel free to relish the fact that it is now a strangely featureless, sexless, quasi sketch like, anime derivative caricature.

Read the whole thing at Movie Viral

Several like-minded fans agreed with Murphy’s position, with more than one fan sending it to Melendy Britt, the original voice actress of She-Ra in the 80’s. While Ms. Britt is reportedly a very progressive lady, she appeared to have some choice words about the people behind the new show according to some of the hashtags she used when responding to these disappointed fans on her Facebook page.

Melendy clearly respects the fans of the original property and appears to also have some issues with how the new producers are handling things. If you note some of the hashtags she inserted at the end of her post (#CheatersNeverWin, #WatchOutForPublicitySpin, #DivisiveNetworkMarketing). It makes one wonder if there could there be something going on behind the scenes? Is she revealing that sometimes brands decide that negative publicity is the route they should take by dividing the fandom?

Several fans responded to her Facebook post, mainly in support of her opinion, but with many showing preference to the original (of course), while still others wanted to give the new version a chance too. One user commented on Murphy’s article, calling it more of a ‘rambling blog post’ than an article. But they did concede that many companies:

“…will exploit nostalgic feelings and disappointments at anything new… I’d probably be more irritated if the series tried to copy the style and tone of the original. It’s time for fresh creators to have a try at something they clearly love. I hope the series does well!”

To which Melendy replied:

“Yes, That’s what was so upsetting- the exploitation of their nostalgia and love for the series up to the point of attacking their character. But that’s the publicity marketing machine for profit at its lowest.”

The bottom line is that the PR for this show stinks to high heaven, and it look like the original ‘She-Ra’ herself is confirming it. Check it out yourself if you’re a Netflix user on November 16.

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Chris Braly

I'm one opinionated, based geek. I try to steer this tiny ship and can often be heard monthly on the Comic Book Page Previews Spotlight podcast with several fellow "comic book nerds." Follow me on Twitter @ChrisBraly. My preferred adjectives are brilliant/beautiful.