Have Warner Bros. Opened the Internet Floodgates?

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It’s hard to not notice the voice of the DC fans. Since 2017, Warner Bros. has been bombarded with demands for them to release the Snyder Cut. The fan outcry was so great, that Zack Snyder got a huge budget to finish his 4-hour film.

But now that the film is out, fans still aren’t happy. More fan campaigns have popped up including #RestoreTheSnyderVerse and #DeathstrokeHBOMax. Millions of people online sharing these hashtags hoping to be heard.

Nobody wants to see the Snyder Verse restored more than me, but Warner Bros. may have set a dangerous precedent. Fans aren’t just heard, they’re pandered to. If the outcry is loud enough studios will drop everything for whatever is being said online.

Of course, this didn’t start with Warner Bros. Most people will remember the controversy around the Sonic the Hedgehog movie. The outcry after that first trailer was so loud that the studio needed to redesign their protagonist from scratch. The change undeniably improved the film, but it also cost the studio $5 million. Which doesn’t include the stress placed on the animators, who by some reports had to work roughly 17 hour days.

Sonic The Hedgehog (2020) Redesign (Left) vs Original (Right)

10 years ago, this would have been unheard of, and it proves that studios are actually listening to what the fans want. But it’s also rewarding their behaviour. If a child throws a tantrum and then gets what they want, they realise that tantrums work and will continue. It’s the same concept. If you reward fans for using #ReleaseTheSnyderCut, then you can’t be surprised when they start demanding #RestoreTheSnyderVerse.

For the most part, this is fine, showing support for Snyder’s vision is good as long as it’s in a positive way. But we all know the internet isn’t always the most civilised place. There are countless stories of abuse, bullying and death threats, and if those people think they’ve won, then they won’t stop. That’s the behaviour we need to be careful of rewarding.

The CEO of WarnerMedia Studios, Ann Sarnoff, told Variety that this behaviour will not be tolerated.

“We want people to be able to speak up for the things they love, but we don’t want it to be a culture of canceling things that any small faction isn’t happy with. We are not about that.”

Ann Sarnoff, WarnerMedia Studios CEO. Source: Variety

Most fans want to be able to celebrate and enjoy their favourite franchises, but it’s always those few that can ruin it all so easily.

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Dan Waterman

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