The thrice New York Times Best Selling Author Chuck Wendig, took to Twitter this afternoon detailing his firing from the comics division of Marvel. The reason? Being generally uncivil in approach to his Twitter followers.
Today I got the call. I’m fired. Because of the negativity and vulgarity that my tweets bring. Seriously, that’s what Mark, the editor said. It was too much politics, too much vulgarity, too much negativity on my part.
— Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) October 12, 2018
The abruptness of this decision by Marvel, who just recently announced Wendig’s new comic venture of a Darth Vader series of comics at N.Y. Comic-Con is highly suspect. Moreover, their decision to terminate their contract with the accomplished Author for his persona on social media is also puzzling, given that he has presented himself in this manner for years. What changed in the past few days? There has been no outrage in the Star Wars Twitterverse on this announcement of the upcoming projects? So what gives?
Chuck Wendig’s entry into the Star Wars Galaxy has been fraught with drama with the release of Star Wars: Aftermath in 2015. Even before the novel hit the virtual shelves at Amazon, a vocal minority of Expanded Universe Forever deviants conducted a targeted campaign to overwhelm the book’s reputation by giving it a one-star rating. The group, angry at Disney’s sledgehammer approach to what would be deemed canon in the new era of Star Wars. The attacks were not just relegated to Amazon but to Chuck himself, via online threats of physical violence and non-stop harassment in his future works. Much of which has been detailed by Chuck on Twitter this afternoon. The groups that targeted Chuck were not only the band of Expanded Universe Sandinistas but also the Alt-Right and their anger against the introduction of gay characters to the Star Wars Galaxy.
These attacks which began in 2015 took a turn since the election of Donald Trump and the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. A perfect storm for some fans who didn’t like the film, and the opportunistic Alt-Right looking to make a buck on Youtube. In this swirl of thick festered hotdog water, the Alt-Right found the platform where they can cast a net to disgruntled folks, stoke the flames with buckets of gasoline and make gobs of donations in the process. This sewered stew of targeting creators to make a buck fostered into a whirlpool that engulfed not only Star Wars but the whole of the comics industry itself, known as Comics-Gate.
Individuals like Ethan Van Sciver, podcasts like Rebel Force Radio and Youtube Channels like Geeks and Gamers, employ the latest tool of the Alt-Right, the faux outrage. We see it not only in Star Wars and the comics arena but in our current state of politics. The faux outrage about bands of roaving Liberal Bandidos terrorizing the countryside or how Democrats are conspiring with fake allegations about the Boy Scout Brent Kavanaugh. Let’s not forget the national scandal of a President wearing a tan suit, and not wearing his flag pin. All of it bullshit, not based in reality and used as propaganda oxygen to fill their imaginary reality bubbles. The danger of this absurdity is not they these people believe in their own make-believe, it’s those regular folks in positions of power yield to it, in order to try to lower the heat because it feels icky.
The firing of Chuck Wendig by Marvel sets a terrible precedent that emboldens these bad actors to continue targeted harassment for profit. Because as in all things in life, it’s about money. Even when they say it isn’t about money, it’s about money. After researching individuals like Ethan Van Sciver on his Youtube channel “Comics Pro-Secrets” for the past several months, the gameplan is evidently clear. Put up daily livestreams about key individuals like Lucasfilm CEO Kathy Kennedy, Director Rian Johnson and Author Chuck Wendig, fire up the base and grab the cash. Keep up the intensity, sick your followers to harass these individuals on social media, drive the narrative and hopefully get a result to show progress.
The cash comes flowing in, not only by views and advertising on YouTube but more importantly through the direct-click donation button to Patreon. The amount I have personally witnessed watching just a few of these episodes is staggering. Folks donating $2, $5 and $20 was mind-blowing. Especially considering a recent episode where Sciver’s prediction of the firing of Kathleen Kennedy would happen at the end of September. Only to find out that her contract with Lucasfilm has been renewed for an additional three years. That night, I went out of my way to view his live-cast, hoping to bask in the glow how this fraud would be exposed to his followers, his inside-sources apparently all wrong. But of course, that didn’t happen. The followers were there, eating up his bullshit excuse and agreeing with him in the chat space. The sadness, soon to come as I witnessed individual after individual donating to the channel in droves. Like Fox News only turned up to 11 and milking the hate-watchers to the absurdity of it all. It still, after a week later still stuns me.
Marvel’s actions in firing Chuck Wendig will embolden these groups and solidify their resolve that this money making formula works. The biggest lost in this affair is how LGBT characters will now possibly fade away in future works in Star Wars by Authors who do not wish to get entangled with the Alt-Right. Shying away from the representation of real life on paper hoping to fly under the radar of those on the march with tiki torches. After this story fades away, you can be assured that they will find more targets and continue this warped workflow of hate-for-profit, clutch my pearls – where’s my fainting couch scheme. It’s big money, and now that they have a win, you can bet it will only get worse. Marvel must reverse this disastrous decision and Lucasfilm should front-and-center defend their creators.