I could have sworn I already posted this video but since I can’t seem to come across it I’m either doing this again with a commentary or it’s the first time and I’m doing this right. Frankly some topics come back up so often it gets confusing. This time the issue is the entitlement of the fans versus the entitlement of the creators. While there are certainly examples of the former there are also examples of the latter being ignored as the former because we have creators who know better than you and are part of the everything for meeeeeeeeeeee crowd, and that’s a problem.
The video comes from favorite filler video source Midnight’s Edge. In this commentary Andre looks into why fans who grew up with franchises like Star Trek, Star Wars, and Doctor Who have been turning away from formerly beloved favorites. In some cases it’s the nostalgia not being there, in many cases it’s the social commentary both in the show and by the creators against the fans who feel cheated. However, there are other factors I think the video misses out on, and I’d like to add this as well.
Catch more commentaries from Midnight’s Edge on their YouTube channel.
Subversion itself isn’t a bad thing. For a good example of it being done right check out the next Daily Video for when Rian Johnson did this correctly with Knives Out, a movie even people who hated The Last Jedi have praise for. However, “subversion” seems to be used far too often as a stand-in for “we don’t like what your favorite franchise is so we’re going to turn it into what we like, whether due to sociopolitical activism or just personal taste”. It’s not just the SJW movement (a term they came up with themselves until the right and even other liberals started making fun of them for it due to how they achieve their goals) that’s to blame, although they’re certainly taking advantage of the mindset.
Todd Philips had no social issues in mind when he made his Joker movie. It was born for a dislike of superhero movies and a belief that he could do a better job with the concept by ignoring the actual character and showing people his taste in movies was superior to the “comic book movies”. I’m convinced the only reason people rose to its defense was because the far left attacked it as a “pro-incel” film sight unseen (appropriate given the source material was purposefully unseen before making it) and getting people worried about it causing riots. Then it turned out to be a re-imagining of The King Of Comedy. It however had nothing to do with the Clown Prince Of Crime. If you don’t think that could be a reason, you haven’t seen some of the video games that gamers “protected” from Jack Thompson and Anita Sarkessian despite being crap games, which goes all the way back to Senator Joe Liberman and Night Trap.
I see this in comics as well, especially in Marvel where they go to young adult novelists rather than comic creators. At least DC does this in a separate imprint, but then Warner Brothers goes to people like Zac Snyder, Todd Philips, and Bruno Heller (who made Gotham for Fox and Pennyworth for Starz) and lets them mess up the multiversal continuity of the characters. In Heller’s case he liked the idea of Gotham City or Alfred Pennyworth’s backstory but has zero interest in Batman or other superheroes but didn’t have the guts to pitch a new thing because he did like the easy way he could use Bruce Wayne’s coattails. Snyder’s position on superheroes is in direct conflict with the main DC Universe but because it worked for Watchmen and nobody at the movie studio reads the comics he got to mess with Superman and Batman.
We see this in other properties as well. The writers on Star Trek: Discovery had no interest in making a Star Trek series, which seems to be true for the whole Bad Robot and TV arm Secret Hideout approach to the franchise. The movies lacked the commentary and cerebral aspects of the franchise and focused solely on the action while as Andre pointed out the TV shows have been more one-sided and divisive. Star Trek: Picard has been sold by Patrick Stewart himself as a commentary against President Trump, and Trek has rarely gone after one particular person, and the vote by the UK to leave the European Union due to the perceived negative impact on that region. (Not being from the UK I only go by what I hear but I did listen to both sides.)
The new She-Ra cartoon was also promoted by trashing the original. All this shows that while the extreme political activism is a problem it’s only part of the wider problem. People are being put on these properties who either don’t care about the source material or are outright antagonistic and swear they will make the superior version using as base an interpretation of the concepts as possible, then get butt hurt creatively when the fans of the original, who care about the characters and world their adventures take place, get upset. If you don’t like the original, make something else. That’s not going to happen because they want the popular thing on their resume and want to show people that their elitist viewpoint on a franchise or current trending topic is the better one, not because they care about what they’re actually working on. That’s what makes them the entitled ones. I say this as both creator and fan: respect your fans, respect your characters even if you didn’t create them, and respect your story. If you can’t bring yourself to do that with a particular series, that’s not a crime. There are series I love as a fan that I couldn’t work on properly as a writer. It’s when you say “I’ll make it better” when you just mean “this wasn’t made for me so I’m going to change everything to suit my preferences” that you’ve already failed.