Would Releasing The Snyder Cut Just Be Rewarding Bad Behavior?

The Genesis Of Toxicity

“Fandom” has become something of a loaded, complicated term in 2020. Almost every base of fervent supporters of a genre franchise has their share of “bad eggs”and entitled, angry fans. However, ask just about any prominent film critic, YouTube video essayist, or member of the entertainment press which fanbase is far and away the angriest and most virulent, the answer will almost inevitably be “The DCEU fandom.”

  • Zack Snyder’s superhero films are too complex and laden with heady themes, and thus were unable to be properly digested by “ordinary folk” and “biased” bloggers.
  • Disney and Marvel Studios “ruined” comic book movies by conditioning the audience to only accept and praise films when they contain comedy, bright color palettes, “formulaic” plotting, and a lack of real-life stakes.
  • Film critics, especially those who work for major media outlets and have their reviews counted in the Rotten Tomatoes score, are all “paid Disney shills,” who engage in quid pro quo with the Mouse House, providing positive reviews in exchange for invites to Hollywood premieres, after parties, celebrity junkets, and other shwag.
  • Bloggers, critics, and other industry professionals actively engaged in insulting Zack Snyder and his work, and implemented an all-out smear campaign to sabotage the DCEU films with bad press.
One of the many photoshopped images depicting Snyder as a benevolent deity, by Twitter user @SupesBatsy
A bizarre and delusional religious Snyder tweet

Social Media Trolling

Snyder fans employ the same tactics utilized by countless troll armies and hate movements such as Gamergate and Comicsgate. Hundreds of accounts — usually emblazoned with avatars pulled from Snyder’s oeuvre like Affleck’s Batman or King Leonidas from 300 with the The Snyder Cut mantra displayed boldly as part of their screen name — slavishly monitor any hashtags or keywords that contain Zack Snyder’s name or ‘Release the Snyder Cut’ 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Once a tweet or post has been identified as speaking ill of “Zaddy” (a favored nickname for the director among the movement that combines Zack and Daddy), supporters will swiftly swarm into the Tweeter’s mentions and dogpile, sea-lion, and engage in bad-faith arguments regarding Snyder’s DC films, usually armed with mocking memes and out-of-context comic book panels to prove how “comics accurate” Snyder’s interpretations of the DC characters are.

Targeting “The Snakes”

Some of the most venomous attacks by the so-called “Snyder Cult” are aimed directly at Snyder’s fellow industry professionals at Warner Bros., including top-level executives — all of whom Snyder cultists believe were (and still are) involved in a vast conspiracy to destroy his career and get him removed from the DC cinematic universe. Public Enemy #1 among the Snyder supporters is Geoff Johns, the former Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment and writer of some of the most revered DC comic books of the modern era, such as Justice Society of America, Green Lantern: Rebirth, Flashpoint, and reboots of Shazam and the Justice League. Prior to transitioning from the publishing world to the film & television arena at DC, Johns was considered to be the foremost authority on how to write and handle the DC comics icons.

A deeply disturbing tweet that blames Disney for the death of Snyder’s daughter
Geoff Johns “Snake” tweets
More Snake comments
Johns is under constant heavy fire from Snyder Cut fans
An absolutely reprehensible comment from a Snyder avatar on Twitter

Emboldening The Bad Behavior

One of the more troubling aspects of the ongoing wave of vile conduct from Snyder cut supporters is the deafening silence coming from Snyder himself. To date, the director has not commented on his feelings regarding Joss Whedon’s work on the film, nor has he recounted the events from his perspective in order to quell the rampant speculation. (In fairness, neither has Whedon.) But more importantly, he has made no public statements whatsoever condemning the toxic online behavior of his fans, even as they engage in the aforementioned mass spamming of Warner Bros. various social media accounts and target critics and detractors of Snyder’s vision for the DC characters.

A smattering of clickbait headlines

Crusading For Art Vs. Toxic Entitlement And The Realities Of Releasing The Cut

With all of the abhorrent behavior cited above (which, sadly, barely scratches the surface of the toxicity), several questions remain: Does this mythical cut even exist? What would it take to release it? Most importantly, do these “fans” even deserve to see it?

Snyder’s Vero post confirming the existence of the director’s cut

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J.M. Carter

J.M. Carter

Geek culture writer and pundit. Possibly a replicant. @TheCarter_GLA