Editors Note: All editorials are solely the opinion of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of DC Comics News or its staff.
I think “fanboy” is a dirty word.
This week, we got some big casting news for the DC cinematic universe. And there was a cast sheet for the DC television universe. Within five minutes of each one, I’d heard some truly disgusting, hateful things from the mouths of fanboys. And it made me sad.
You are my peers and sometimes, honestly, you sicken me. So let’s get down to it, shall we?
Gal Gadot was cast as Wonder Woman. The first comment I saw was on Reddit. It was, quite succinctly “ugh get that bitch a sandwich and some weights.” As much as I’d like to publicly shame the person who said that, they’ve gone ahead and deleted the comment. But it wasn’t a one-off. Throughout all forms of social media, I’ve seen fanboys spouting the same line, saying Gadot is way too skinny.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m very worried about the Man of Steel sequel. I thought the first suffered from some subpar writing and I won’t pretend I’m not concerned about Zack Snyder over-stuffing the plot to Spider-Man 3 levels. And, as far as Gal Gadot goes, I think she’s absolutely gorgeous but, of course, she’s untested as an actress.
Sure, we all want the source material to be represented in the best possible way and being the first big screen Wonder Woman does put one under a great deal of scrutiny, but when the hell did we get so mean? When did we, long portrayed as acne-ridden, pasty neck beards, get so damn judgmental about other people’s appearances? When did the bullied turn into bullies? All it took was some anonymity and a message board and we transformed into everything the heroes we claim to love fight against.
We got hateful and spiteful and cynical and… frankly, quite stupid.
Zack Snyder may be a lot of things. But one thing he is, for damn certain, is a brilliant visual director. He will make sure Gal Gadot looks like Wonder Woman. If you have any doubts, feel free to check out literally every movie he’s ever made. Watchmen, 300, and Man of Steel are all there to stand up to their comic book counterparts.
Now, let’s talk about this whole Iris West situation. For those of you who don’t know, the cast sheet for the Flash pilot calls for an African American woman to play Iris, a traditionally white character. On the one hand, I think that limiting casting opportunities to one specific race for a character whose race is not essential to proper characterization is absolutely insane. The right person should get hired for the job, regardless of race. At this point, it really does seem like an odd move, made only so the CW could fill its diversity requirements.
As a minority, I care about opportunities. And the opportunity for a black actor to be cast in a traditionally white superhero role (Iris West is the aunt of Wally West who becomes the Flash after Barry so it stands to reason that we could one day see a black Flash) is tremendous and wonderful. But to restrict a role to one race is a bit distressing to me.
What upsets me more than that is the fan reaction so far. Despite Iris being described as studying psychology (instead of her traditional journalism route), I have only seen a handful of comments about that issue. The comments that I have seen in that regard are often quelled by some voice of reason who mentions that her character could grow and develop and one day become a journalist over the course of the show. The rest of the comments are about race. They are hateful and bigoted. Naturally, quite a few ask if Iris is supposed to be related to Kanye in the show. We are a clever group.
I still don’t get it though. I don’t understand when or why or how my fellow fanboys got so judgmental and so full of hate. But I don’t like it.