From Sonic the Hedgehog to Star Wars, are fans too entitled?

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From Sonic the Hedgehog to Star Wars, are fans too entitled?

Post by Spectrum » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:15 pm

Just read this BBC article and had a bit of a whiplash. The start of it is pretty good, very well written and balanced, looking at the investment of fandom in a positive light.... and then it starts discussing Star Wars and goes all intersectionality.

http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/202002 ... o-entitled
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Re: From Sonic the Hedgehog to Star Wars, are fans too entitled?

Post by Neo-Paladin » Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:19 pm

Phew...you're right, started decent, then veered way off course.
No, fans are not too entitled. People who pay money and invest time in something are entitled to being given something WORTH their time and money. Not something half-baked, not something thrown together hastily without a single idea where to go with it, not something that tramples all over what previous works in the same canon have established.
Something with a decent vision behind it and something showing that those people who in the end are paying for it all are being respected.
That is all. It's that simple. And, just like many others, I am tired of being told to swallow whatever garbage is being thrown at the screen because it's got women or POC or LGBTQ+ people in it.
Be diverse all you want! Please! Sure thing! But it is NOT something to be used as a shield against criticisms because the studios are creatively bankrupt.

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Re: From Sonic the Hedgehog to Star Wars, are fans too entitled?

Post by mrdent12 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:48 pm

So what I am reqding is that studios and creatives want to be treated differently from everyone else in that the audience should adapt to them even if the audience has no appetite for it. In the business world, your customer drives requirements not the business. Even Apple did extensive user checking during the design phase for their stuff. I see no reason studios should get a pass just because they are "woke" or "creative geniuses".

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Re: From Sonic the Hedgehog to Star Wars, are fans too entitled?

Post by Ares » Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:57 pm

Image

The short answer: No.

The long answer: Hell f***ing no.

I will say that the article does a decent job of examining things . . . right up to the point where you hit "when fans bite back". After which it turns into a dumpster fire parroting the same old drivel. Once you get to:
Yet it would be naive to think that the backlash against The Last Jedi – and indeed, against Tran – were motivated purely by a dislike of storytelling choices.
They have officially jumped ship to crazy town. They even use old chestnuts like "Kelly Marie Tran was harassed off of social media by racists" when that's never been proven and she's made no statements to that effect. Out come the accusations that the only reason you could have had a problem with The Last Jedi or Ghostbustes 2016 was because of racism or misogyny. Meanwhile Princess Leia, Lando Calrissian and Winston Zedmore are standing over there with the "Am I a joke to you" meme as they stare in disbelief.

Intersectionality is basically being used as a shield against criticism. Which is mindboggling because the FIRST THING they taught me in my Freshman level writing class ( . . . way back in 1999 . . . damn it) was that If you have an idea, and you keep it to yourself, then you can consider that idea perfect. But the second you share it with anyone, no matter how many, you are opening yourself up to criticism. You need to learn to take criticism, process it, and use it as a means to see how you can improve. Not all criticism need be given equal weight, but there's a world of difference between someone who says "this sucks" and someone who can give you a well explained reason for their dislikes.

Being able to brush off criticisms as "racist", "mysognist" or similar things is just a way to deflect from the idea that you screwed up. It gets even more hilarious with films like Ghostbusters 2016, Terminator Dark Fate and Charlies Angels. When you use the promotional material vilifying a section of the viewing audience, telling them the film isn't for them, calling them manbabies for their criticisms, you cannot complain that they didn't show up to watch your film.

The article calls the fans entitled, but it sounds like the studios, directors and actors feel entitled to fan money when they haven't earned it.

With fandoms, the whole point of continuing to make something with an existing property is because it already has a built in fanbase. If you want to make an original property like John Wick or Pacific Rim, there is no existing fanbase and you can do whatever you want. But if you use an existing property, one reason you're doing it is because they already have an existing fanbase. Which means there were things about that property that people loved, there was a history, there were rules, there are expectations. And if you mess with those expectations (dare I say, "subvert them"), you run the risk of alienating the people that made the property profitable.

Imagine being a pizza place, and you have a regular customer who goes every Tuesday an orders a pepperoni pizza. Then he comes in one week and when he gets his pizza it tastes different. The way they've prepared it is completely different, they use a different cheese and bread, different tomato sauce, etc. When he asks why they changed it, they said they wanted to try something new to broaden their audience. The guy shrugs and eats the pizza, but it both looks and tastes different, enough to throw things off and hamper his enjoyment.

Next week when he comes in and orders a pepperoni pizza he gets a vegetables lovers. When asked why he got this, they say that they subverted his expectations and gave him this brand new thing to try. He asks them for what he ordered, and they get offended that he won't accept what they gave him. He leaves without eating the pizza.

A couple weeks later he comes back, tries to order a pepperoni, and again gets a different pizza. When he complains that it isn't what he ordered, they call him a racist, homophobe and sexist because the cook that prepared it is a gay woman of color. The guy leaves and never comes back, and leaves a negative review on their website. He's then hounded on social media and used as an example of toxicity and prejudice within the pizza fanbase.

One reviewer I really enjoy is sfDebris, a reviewer of movies, tv shows, cartoons and video games. On the subject of the Transformers, he took a moment to talk about the idea of "fan entitlement", with people acting like the fans own part of the franchise. Chuck (his real name) said simply that he doesn't own any of the franchise itself, but he does own how it makes him feel, and he's going to have opinions based on that, and trying to deny them is true undeserved entitlement.

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Re: From Sonic the Hedgehog to Star Wars, are fans too entitled?

Post by mrdent12 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:24 pm

I'd argue the fans do have some ownership stake in a sense. While not creating the work or providing initial funding, no one is going to pay for creative work that isn't viable commercialy. Pet projects funded by people with money to burn is a different story.

Area cover it well with his pizza example, but I'd add fans have ownership in the commercial creative stuff during the financing phase for established legacies by virtue of being baked into the sells pitch. Even for things like Pacific Rim, there is some group who likes giant robots fighting monsters that are built into the sells pitch.

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Re: From Sonic the Hedgehog to Star Wars, are fans too entitled?

Post by FuzzyBoots » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:35 pm

{nods} And I think that part of the problem is that we're talking about a spectrum (no, not Spectrum. Hi!). Leaving one bad review based on your experience is a pretty clear-cut case of something people are entitled to. Yes, enough people posting reviews that Rise of the Robots has some non-so-subtle anti-meat rhetoric can impact sales by discouraging others, but it's an honest opinion expressed freely. And honestly, I think it's OK even if people don't have good reasons, like if they don't want to support that film because the director is German, or because the lead actress's father was recently proven to have molested young actors, and they don't want money going to anyone in that family. Hopefully, the aggregate of humanity is more rational.

A fairly clearcut case of where it goes wrong is someone trying to impose their opinion against others, say burning down theaters that show the movie, or attempting to use a bot to spam bad reviews. Whether one feels they are in the right or not, that's clearly a bad action.

Where it gets a bit murkier is in trying to rally/organize people to oppose it. On the surface level, yes, it's still individuals acting individually with an aggregate result, but mobs are mobs, and it's demonstrably easy to sway people into picking up pitchforks and torches, and stirring them into that bad actor category of trying to impose one's opinions.

To use the pizza example, leaving a bad review is fine. Burning down the pizza shop or poisoning their sauce is not. Getting a group of friends to picket the restaurant to discourage people from entering is heading toward bad actor territory.
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Re: From Sonic the Hedgehog to Star Wars, are fans too entitled?

Post by Spectrum » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:41 pm

... but trying to protect other people from the horrible indigestion that the pizza caused?

Oooof, should not have done that last night.
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Re: From Sonic the Hedgehog to Star Wars, are fans too entitled?

Post by FuzzyBoots » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:56 pm

Spectrum wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:41 pm
... but trying to protect other people from the horrible indigestion that the pizza caused?

Oooof, should not have done that last night.
Yeah, that's another large grey area. When are you obliged to step in for the sake of others? If you believe there is genuine harm being done, are you obliged to at least inform others (such as the protestors around abortion clinics who hand out pamphlets but don't actually bar entry) or are you obliged to act more directly?
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Re: From Sonic the Hedgehog to Star Wars, are fans too entitled?

Post by Spectrum » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:09 pm

Stretching the analogy even further..

Better than the Jem movie. They took reviews from when the pizza was the best in town, really the greatest ingredients, high quality stuff. Sure, it was a different time and people had different expectations. Then they sell a freezer burned off brand Hot Pocket based on the reviews.
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Re: From Sonic the Hedgehog to Star Wars, are fans too entitled?

Post by Ares » Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:54 pm

Ares wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:57 pm

Imagine being a pizza place, and you have a regular customer who goes every Tuesday an orders a pepperoni pizza. Then he comes in one week and when he gets his pizza it tastes different. The way they've prepared it is completely different, they use a different cheese and bread, different tomato sauce, etc. When he asks why they changed it, they said they wanted to try something new to broaden their audience. The guy shrugs and eats the pizza, but it both looks and tastes different, enough to throw things off and hamper his enjoyment.

Next week when he comes in and orders a pepperoni pizza he gets a vegetables lovers. When asked why he got this, they say that they subverted his expectations and gave him this brand new thing to try. He asks them for what he ordered, and they get offended that he won't accept what they gave him. He leaves without eating the pizza.

A couple weeks later he comes back, tries to order a pepperoni, and again gets a different pizza. When he complains that it isn't what he ordered, they call him a racist, homophobe and sexist because the cook that prepared it is a gay woman of color. The guy leaves and never comes back, and leaves a negative review on their website. He's then hounded on social media and used as an example of toxicity and prejudice within the pizza fanbase.
To elaborate on this metaphor:

If the guy going to the pizza place has this bad experience, leaves his negative review on the website, but then that's the end of the story, then I'd agree he doesn't have any right to protest outside the pizza place, sue them or any similar things. He would be well within his right to bring them up in conversation and warn his friends against going there, or even posting about them on Reddit or message boards because it's an interesting story.

That last line is important though. If after receiving that negative review the guy gets slandered by the pizza place as a bigot, if they try to dox him, get media sites to release hit pieces on him, point to him as everything wrong with pizza eaters and similar things, then I feel the guy would be well within his rights to protest the place, to start a website countering their claims, or doing whatever he has to to fight back.

When you're unsatisfied with what you get and the other side escalates things, you aren't out of line in defending yourself and using appropriate responses to try and defend your choices and your good name.

The whole Sonic vs Birds of Prey thing is a perfect example. The Sonic team listened to the fans and have released a film that is doing very well in the box office. It's done more in its opening weekend that Birds of Prey's entire run thus far. Birds of Prey is suffering a lack of attendance due to the R-Rating (any of the teenager or younger Harley fans can't see it), the promotional material, and some choice words from the cast. So the people that didn't go see Birds of Prey are being slandered for not supporting it, while also decrying people for going see Sonic instead, like it was some kind of binary choice of see one or the other. I saw both Into the Spider-Verse and Aquaman despite them being within a week or so of each other, I also saw Alita and Captain Marvel despite people trying to make that into an either/or thing as well.

Of all the entitlement on display, I find the biggest group of entitled people are some folks in the film industry and the media, who feel a movie is entitled to a certain amount of success instead of earning it.

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Re: From Sonic the Hedgehog to Star Wars, are fans too entitled?

Post by Neo-Paladin » Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:18 pm

Ares wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:54 pm
Of all the entitlement on display, I find the biggest group of entitled people are some folks in the film industry and the media, who feel a movie is entitled to a certain amount of success instead of earning it.
This. A thousand times this. They somehow got it into their heads that being " progressive" (how progresssive you actually are if you have to parade your minorities around like circus freaks to garner attention is a wholy different animal) would automatically ensure a movie's success. When that does not work, a scapegoat must be found...

Nope, if you want our money, you have to earn it. Earn it by giving us good entertainment. You can even be artistic, subvert expectations, all that newfangled stuff that makes you feel so damn smart. Just make sure that at its core, your work is good and respects its audience. That's really all you need to do.

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Re: From Sonic the Hedgehog to Star Wars, are fans too entitled?

Post by Arkrite » Fri Mar 06, 2020 6:37 pm

So a friend of mine informed me that he enjoyed a movie I didn't really much like.

I will admit I was surprised, but to each their own. I shrugged it off and let him know what I was glad he enjoyed it, but I couldn't find that same enjoyment of it, as I had gone in expecting something different.
To my surprise my friend then went into a rant about how the audience shouldn't have a right or a say beyond buying a ticket.
To paraphrase he said: You buy the ticket, you get to see the movie. If you don't like it, too bad. You don't get to bitch about how it should change. They had a vision and this is what it is. People need to get over it.

I was largely gobsmacked at the time and had no response. I knew I didn't agree, but I was blind sided and honestly I spend so little time with my friend that arguing over a movie I hate, and a movie he enjoyed, probably wasn't going to make either of us happy.

But I do find that I still can't agree. There are parts to what he said that are true, and parts that I believe are wholly wrong.

If a person creates a new setting with new characters and decides to throw genre conventions on their ear?
Then I agree, that's the creator's vision and even if I don't like it I should probably just leave it be.
If he decides to create a superhero style movie but have it actually be a horror movie, oh well. He tried something new, good for him.

But when you link your creation to an existing series? It is natural for the audience to have expectations.
When I told my friend that I had gone into a movie with certain expectations he told me that I'd poisoned my own experience by expecting things, and that had I not done so I would have enjoyed said movie.
I disagree.
I disagree because the people making that movie were exploiting my feelings for the previous movies to make me come back to another one. They wanted to make money, they decided to do so by using an existing franchise to lure me in, and then they proceeded to make a mess of it and act hurt when I didn't much care for it.

I didn't enjoy Man of Steel because, to me, it didn't seem like a Superman movie and I had come to see a Superman movie.
It felt like I was watching some jerk in a Superman costume. The director's reasoning for it was that he, himself, couldn't imagine anybody being so altruistic and nice, so he had to make him "human" and "relatable".
So basically he didn't want Superman in this Superman movie. So he made Jerkman, gave him a Superman suit, and had him run around wrecking things for a while.

Here is the trick: Had you called this movie The Titan, removed any reference to Superman or DC, you probably would have had a much better response from the audiences.
Because they wouldn't be expecting Superman or his ideals, so when Titan acts like a jerk we'd just go "oh, I guess Titan's a jerk" instead of "wait, Superman's not a jerk".

But a movie called Titan, even with good reviews, wouldn't make anywhere near as much money as a bad Superman movie.
So a guy who has little interest in superheroes, less interest in Superman or DC, wanted to create his own thing rather than make a movie that was in line with the source material, but feels that fan backlash is unwarranted when the get a movie that isn't what was promised in the title.

Another movie, Hancock, was about a jerk superman who has to learn how to be a hero.
I didn't think it was a great movie, but it was okay, and it certainly didn't get the bad backlash. But it also didn't make Superman levels of money.



You know, lots of people talk about Fan Entitlement.
What about Corporate Entitlement?

I have seen a number of movies come out recently that have taken existing franchises, added an agenda, messed with the source materials until it's barely related to the existing franchise, and then act shocked when it doesn't meet with massive success.

Ghostbusters 2016, Charlie's Angels (2019?), Terminator Dark Fate and (very specifically) Harley Quinn spent a lot of time letting everybody know that these were female centered movies for a female audience, and that they weren't marketed for men.
And then spent a lot of time blaming men for not going to see these movies. Even when 50% of total possible audience is women... who are also not going to see them.

They seem to feel that they should be able to take what ever they want, change it to suit their political ideals, put out a sub-standard movie and feel entitled to a huge payday in spite of all that.

Action movies are, largely, a male dominated audience. If you want to make good money you need to keep your audience in mind. It's fine to have strong female characters in action movies, in fact I'd love to have some more, but you have to avoid insulting, belittling and otherwise offending your male audience in the process.
And it's not that hard to do, throw in a female character who is as bad ass as the tough males, just as flawed as them, give them a chance to shine and don't make them crap all over people.

They exist, they're good and people love them.



I'm sorry guys, but if you put Star Trek in the title, I expect something close to Gene Roddenberry's vision of the future. I expect Star Trek. If you don't like it, don't put Star Trek in the title.
Surprise, surprise, I might still compare you to Star Trek but I won't hold you to their standard. And I certainly won't make much fuss over your original stand alone movie.

But this is like somebody making a drink out of vinegar and lemon juice, slapping a Coke or Pepsi logo on it, then being offended when people don't like the flavor, and then going out to malign the customer base since they didn't buy the thing they didn't actually want.


But that's just my opinion.

Feel free to disagree.
I mean, my friend likes a movie I hate, and I'm glad he enjoyed it. I'd rather people be happy than angry. I'd rather everybody find something they enjoy regardless of how other people feel about it.


I just feel like a punching bag for the media these days.

I didn't like Ghostbusters/Charlie's Angels/Star Trek/Harley Quinn/Terminator Dark Fate/fill-in-the-blank.
So rather than acknowledge some of the arguments I've made with counter points? I'm just told that I'm a racist/homophobic/sexist/misogynist monster.
Because it's easier to belittle, put down and insult people to discredit their arguments than it is to come back with reasoned responses.

And I know why they're doing it. I know it's not really aimed at me.

But I've been hearing it for years now and it's hard not to feel bitter about it.

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Re: From Sonic the Hedgehog to Star Wars, are fans too entitled?

Post by Ares » Fri Mar 06, 2020 7:08 pm

Arkrite wrote:
Fri Mar 06, 2020 6:37 pm
So a friend of mine informed me that he enjoyed a movie I didn't really much like.

I will admit I was surprised, but to each their own. I shrugged it off and let him know what I was glad he enjoyed it, but I couldn't find that same enjoyment of it, as I had gone in expecting something different.
To my surprise my friend then went into a rant about how the audience shouldn't have a right or a say beyond buying a ticket.
To paraphrase he said: You buy the ticket, you get to see the movie. If you don't like it, too bad. You don't get to bitch about how it should change. They had a vision and this is what it is. People need to get over it.
That line of reasoning makes absolutely no sense to me.

I've said it before elsewhere, but an idea is only perfect so long as you keep it to yourself. If it exists only to make you happy and you never share it with anyone, then it's doing what you want it to do: it's making you happy. It has a 100% approval rating. It is perfect.

The second you share that idea with even one other person, you have opened that idea up to criticism. People are allowed to analyze it, consider how they feel about it, and ultimately judge it. And it will be up to that individual how they feel, what the idea makes them feel, and whether they consider the idea good or not. The idea is no longer perfect because people are different, and no idea is going to be able to please everyone.

This is especially true when dealing with a franchise with pre-existing lore and a fanbase. If it's gained any degree of popularity, it's because of what that franchise did and continued to do, and fans have an expectation for similar quality and faithfulness to that franchise. In short, once something becomes a franchise, people have standards against which all new entries into that franchise are judged.

If an creator has some vision or story they want to tell, they have three options:

1) They create something wholly original and tell things exactly how they want them. This has the greatest risk as there is no existing fanbase to draw on. You bear all the burden of success or failure because the idea has sprung completely from you.

2) You tell your story with an existing franchise, but modify your vision so that it works with the established characters, setting and lore. This has the greatest chance for success, but can be creatively unsatisfying, because it's no longer your vision. Unless you wrote this story with the franchise in mind, in which case it's win/win.

3) You tell your story with an existing franchise, but you modify the setting and characters to work with your vision and story. This is simultaneously very safe while also being very risky. If done properly, your new vision of the setting and character could surpass the original, becoming how all future versions of that franchise are defined (see Chris Claremont's X-Men vs Stan Lee's X-Men). If done poorly, you're going to get the fanbase you were hoping to cash in on mad at you, possibly split or damage the franchise, but likely still make a profit because the fans went to see it at least once, and the general audience also went to see it.

Option 3 is when you get things like the Star Wars: Sequel Trilogy or the DCEU. Like Ark said, even a bad Superman or Star Wars film will still make a profit, even if it isn't as huge a profit as it should have been. That's why you get folks like Zack Snyder and Rian Johnson playing with toys they don't care about, because it lets them tell the story they want with the highest chance of reaching the most people.

In my opinion, Option 3 should only be used if the source material is relatively little known and/or objectively sucks. No one complained when Big Hero 6 was re-invented as a bunch of Science Kids because the original Big Hero 6 comics were TERRIBLE. Likewise, the original X-Men were pretty lame overall and a bottom tier book until it was re-invented in the 70s as a huge money maker.

So no, artist vision or not, if they put it out there for everyone to see, everyone gets to say whether it's good or bad and whether or not changes should have been made. Artistic vision, like intersectionalism, is no shield from criticism. Especially if they were playing with someone else's toys while they did it.

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Re: From Sonic the Hedgehog to Star Wars, are fans too entitled?

Post by FuzzyBoots » Fri Mar 06, 2020 7:11 pm

As regards the Birds of Prey film, I quite liked it, as have most people I've talked to (admittedly, within my circle of friends), and the blame I've generally seen is less about feminist marketing and more about them naming the movie after a concept that doesn't show up until near the end of the film, that was the name of a comic book (and TV show) that didn't have nearly as much exposure as Harley Quinn (no jokes intended about her outfit in the Suicide Squad film, although she is more covered-up in this one).
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Re: From Sonic the Hedgehog to Star Wars, are fans too entitled?

Post by Ares » Sun Mar 08, 2020 4:30 am

From what I understand, the problems folks have with Birds of Prey include some of the following:

1) It was Birds of Prey in name only. Apart from Harley, none of the other characters were really even remotely like their comic counterparts in terms of look or acting. Cassandra and Dinah apparently got hit with this especially hard. And even Harley was only in character compared to her Suicide Squad version. The lack of Barbara Gordon is especially bad given how vital Babs was to BoP, how important her relationships with Dinah and Cassandra were, etc. This really should have been a Gotham Sirens film with Poison Ivy, maybe a few other Gotham villainesses.

2) The marketing included several apparently misleading bits where there was discussion about how the film was about "every day misogyny" that women have to deal with, how they were going to cover Harely up to avoid "the male gaze", and other things that made it seem like the film was going to follow in the footsteps of films like Ghostbusters 2016, Ocean's 8, Terminator Dark Fate and the latest Charlies Angels. And when people didn't rush out to go see it, the PR department did what those other movies did and blame fans for not seeing it, rather than blame the marketing department that didn't do enough to promote the film.

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