To promote his director’s cut of Justice League, director Zack Snyder decided to appear on a charity stream on the week the film would premiere on HBO Max. Towards the end of the stream, Snyder said this:
“Just a quick thing before we get started, I know that on our donation page we still have the Geeks + Gamers logo. I just want to say that, we talked about this, we’re really not affiliated with Geeks + Gamers as far as I’m concerned. I really just want to make that clear. I also just want to say, in light of recent events I think […] if Justice League teaches us anything it’s about coming together. There’s no room for hate. I just think it’s an important message. As a father of Asian children, it hits close to home.”Zack Snyder
Snyder’s statement of disassociation followed by the citation of racism in current events painted the group as being controversial at best and hateful at worst. The streamers did not take this well. Many of them quickly turned on Snyder once he left the call, including the commenters. One of which asked if they could cancel their donation to the charity. Comic artist Ethan Van Sciver not only donated $200 so he could state on stream he was sick of studios but would later retort to Snyder’s comments in a stream where he stated the following:
“And to me, no, he’ll never stop me from killing Chinese people. Ever. I don’t care how many movies he makes…Give me a Tommy gun and line them up against a wall, as the great Stan Lee once said.”Ethan Van Sciver
The reactions among such fans ranged from displeased ranting to unambiguous racist statements as previously quoted. Many of them were perplexed why Snyder, a director they held in such high regard and helped them raise money for charity, would want to disassociate with such a group. The answer is very simple to understand.
He doesn’t owe you anything.
The many fandoms that cropped up around Snyder to push for his director’s cut have developed a weird parasocial relationship with the director. The relationship had been built up to such a degree that Snyder’s declaration of disassociation came as a shock to the many who had held up as some icon they had a pact with. Such a revelation for this community has prompted a handful of responses and defenses. Here are a few.
“Geeks+Gamers isn’t far-right as Snyder may think.”
Whether or not Geeks+Gamers subscribes to far-right politics is less in question more than the behavior they harbor. Declaring a political stance holds less value than the deeds of the individual. One can be racist and still announce themselves as not being far-right, especially since favoring such a political stance is not socially acceptable.
The actions of the individual are a better judge of character. And what will one finds if they open the Geeks+Gamers channels? Videos about getting outraged over Captain Marvel for feminism and fuming over Indiana Jones 5 featuring a woman. Should it really be that much of a shocker he doesn’t want to associate with such content producers?
“The fans made Snyder’s film even happen so he should be grateful.”
The Snyder Cut movement was not some contract that Snyder entered into with fans to get his film made. The campaign certainly drummed up attention and Snyder probably appreciated the support but that does not mean he needs to support or associate with those who got him there. A director’s film could be supported by a gun lobby to be produced but that does not mean the director must favor the views of the lobby unless there was a contractual agreement to do so.
Even if Snyder held a Kickstarter campaign where fans could contribute to making the film happen for a chance to be listed as an executive producer, that would still not mean he has to associate with the fans. Unless explicitly stated somewhere that Snyder HAS to hold fans up high, he is under no obligation to respect or associate with fans.
“Snyder is speaking for Warner Bros more than he is himself.”
Zack Snyder appeared on the Geeks+Gamers podcast during a time when he was promoting Justice League. Of course, he is speaking for Warner Bros. Everything he says publically during such a time counts towards promotion and perceptions of the film.
Snyder does not work for the fans. He works for Warner Bros. There is no benefit of him favoring Geeks+Gamers in their views. They are not paying him to make a movie nor are they distributing his film. They may be promoting the film but, again, it is a promotion that was not mutually agreed upon.
When Snyder spoke of Batman v. Superman as being a film for the fans, he didn’t mean that entirely literally. He said this line in response to the negative criticism of the picture. When any film experiences this, the standard response among directors and actors is to claim their film is “for the fans.” It doesn’t matter if it’s true because that’s the narrative they need to spin.
But, just to clarify, no. Batman v. Superman was not made specifically for fans. It was made for the widest audience possible. “For the fans” is the trigger word to make the true fans of the film feel more vindicated and less ashamed of their own views in comparisson to critic reviews. It’s not kowtowing so much as it is a marketing tactic.
“Geeks+Gamers raised money for charity. How could he talk about them like that?”
While charity can be a good deed, it is not some magic ticket to avoid criticism, no matter how much some people think it is. Nobody commits a certain amount of money to charity and is allowed to say the N-word as some sort of prize. Or, in this case, gaining approval from a director.
Geeks+Gamers did raise quite a hefty amount of money for the charity. But considering they also garnered viewers who immediately wanted to retract their donation once they heard Snyder’s disassociation, it does say something about their audience.
“Geeks+Gamers can’t be racist because they have people of color in their group.”
For a group that loves to piss and moan about identity politics in media being bad, it speaks volumes when they pull out this card to defend themselves. Again, deeds speak louder than words. And the whole “I have black friends” argument has been one of the oldest attempts to get around someone harboring racist tendencies. “I couldn’t be racist,” the insecure white guy who just made a racist joke says, “My best friends are black.”
The bottom line is that Zack Snyder does not need any approval or association from Geeks+Gamers. His disassociation is no great loss for him. He still has fans who dig his work and his films will still garner an audience without being associated with such YouTuber chuds. He does not owe them an apology, especially after the way they reacted after his denouncement. They went right back to their tired old tactics of proclaiming Snyder as their new enemy of fandom.
And it is a fandom that Snyder does not need to please. Snyder isn’t some god who betrayed his brethren, succumbed to the corporate talking points of the studio, or was brainwashed by woke culture. He looked at Geeks+Gamers and decided this was not the group he wanted to be associated with. And based on their retort, he made the right call.