Marvel Comics, now owned by Disney, has set a dangerous trend. With the firing of James Gunn for past tweets, Disney let the despicable trolls of the internet know that if they were loud enough, acted outraged enough, smelled bad enough in front of the noses of the right people, then they could control Disney’s (and therefore Marvel’s) social media policies, all without ever actually declaring an official social media policy. 6 years past since James Gunn made some vulgar tweets, which he then apologized for years later, only to be punished for this year. And now Marvel has caved to similar declarations made by similar trolls to who got Gunn fired from GotG Vol 3. The target of the anti-fans ire this time? Chuck Wendig.
So, here’s a thing that has happened – I just got fired from Marvel. Taken off issues 4 and 5 of SHADOW OF VADER, and taken off an as-yet-unannounced SW book.
This might be a long thread, so apologies in advance.
— Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) October 12, 2018
Oct. 6th, 2018, many took to social media to vent their anger. On the 6th, Senate voted 51-49 to advance Kavanaugh to the final vote for Supreme Court Justice. With a short and stunted FBI “investigation”, many were outraged by the Senate’s decision. Chuck Wendig was no different. Where he did differ was in two main areas. First, being a wordsmith, his words were loquaciously vulgar, using descriptive profanity that brought vivid mental pictures to follower’s minds. Secondly, he was already under the watchful eye of anti-fans like comicsgate and the alt-right for daring to put LGBTQ representation into Star Wars novels. The nerve! The unmitigated gall! Actually, the books did quite well and opened up the Star Wars universe to fans who previously felt drastically unrepresented.
Wendig went a tirade that was as beautiful as it was powerful, strong as it was angry. He called out those he felt had done the country a huge disservice (More than half the country is opposed to Kavanaugh) and went into detail as to what exactly he felt these politicians should do to themselves.
Was Wendig vulgar? Absolutely. Was Wendig uncivil? With righteous indignation. But what Wendig wasn’t was abusive, violent, or outside the realm of normal for Wendig’s Twitter feed – something Marvel had to have known before offering him the Star Wars comics gig. Here’s the thread that got Wendig fired. Caution! Beware! Profanity on the internet!
There will be renewed calls for civility. Ignore them. They ask for civility as a way for you to grant them complicity in what they do.
— Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) October 6, 2018
While Wendig is the target of yet another firing due to a vocal minority, where he differs from James Gunn is in the aftermath. Wendig doesn’t apologize for his behavior. He stands by it. And he’s not worried about the future. Comics books were a small part of his gig, with novels being the biggest chunk. He’s got books coming out and more set up. So instead, Wendig asks that you worry for others more…
Be more concerned for people with less power and more marginalized voices — who even BEFORE big projects at the bottom of huge funnels of harassment. Be good to each other. I’m gonna go hug my kid and eat a sandwich.
— Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) October 12, 2018
There a lot of these anti-fans that struggle with cognitative dissonance, claiming that Wendig’s tweets are the same as Roseanne’s. Roseanne made racist rants right up until she was fired. None of Wendig’s posts called out anyone for their race, religion, or sexuality. Wendig broke no protocol or policy, save for some arbitrary “distasteful and vulgar” content that seems to be doled out at editor’s discretion.
These same anti-fans claim that this is the world Wendig asked for by siding against others who had been hateful and vulgar on social media and had gotten fired, like Roseanne. “The 1st amendment doesn’t protect you from consequences of your free speech, remember?” they yell, spittal flying from their angry faces.
That’s true, and Wendig acknowledges Marvel’s (specifically Marvel editor Mark Paniccia’s) right in firing him if they say wish, going so far as to say that if his tweets really will distract from the book then he SHOULDN’T be on it. But there’s a difference between being vulgar on the internet and being racist or sexist on the internet. There’s a difference between saying “I don’t like this person because they voted against marginalized folk, so fuck them” and saying “I don’t like this person because of the color of his skin”. Was Marvel within their rights? Without a doubt. Were they necessarily right? Well, it just further proves to ComicsGaters that they can control Marvel if they’re loud enough. That sets a dangerous precedent, not only for creators but for the publisher and fans.
What do you think? Should Wendig have been fired? Should creators keep their personal though public spaces free of any kind of controversial material? Let us know in the comments below or hit up on Facebook or Twitter.