This blog inspired by a recent article on CBR.com
Petitions started by fans of particular geek/nerd franchises are nothing new. As pointed out in the article I linked above they have just become exponentially easier to initiate as well as gather “signatures” for since the ease of access to and overabundance of internet connections.
The article proposes that these fan petitions are “ruining … everything”. Sadly, there is no true argument about anything actually being ruined, just the mention of two specific petitions. Now, are the petitions ludicrous? Yes, but their existence hardly qualifies as ruining anything. With all the social media outlets, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc., the only thing these petitions seem to bring to light is the number of fans aggravated by a particular nerd/geek/fandom issue.
One such petition is to have a “Zack Snyder” cut of Justice League released and netted over 100,000 signatures. Another collected almost 100,000 fans signatures “demanding” that Disney rollback Episode VIII, stall Episode IX, and remake VIII because they didn’t like it.
Or, when Ben Affleck was announced to play Batman/Bruce Wayne in BVS, petitions began to show up online, the largest gaining close to 100,000 signatures. A quick Google search showed at least 4 other petitions with less that 100 signatures each. None of which had any effect since he’s now played the character 3 times. Having now seen Affleck in the role in 3 movies I will openly admit he’s not my favorite to play the character, but I can imagine worse choices.
I’m not disagreeing with fans ability to voice their concerns or dislike for a particular movie, casting choice, or even change to a character’s mythology, but these petitions give off the aire that fans are entitled to complete control of fandoms. That is simply absurd.
The petitions need to stop. Not because they are futile, but because they are selfish. We should be thrilled that we live in a world where these comic books and superheroes are being made into incredible visual motion picture spectacles. Growing up even 20 years ago these same characters were too geeky and nerdy to be mainstream, to be popular. Now we are getting to see them come to life as we never dreamed. As a whole these fandoms should just enjoy the explosion of geek/nerd entertainment being popular enough for TV and movie studios to keep the train rolling.
As a side note, some petitions shouldn’t exist because at times change is a good thing (i.e. Doctor Who regenerating into a female Doctor) and sometimes, a show was cancelled because it didn’t live up to fan expectations (*cough cough* Inhumans).
I get it. Fans, particularly those of comic books and superheroes, are enthusiastic and extremely passionate about characters they know and love, but these petitions do little more than highlight those same fans inability to see the forest for the trees.