It would seem that Warner Bros found themselves in a pickle of their own making. Apparently, WB’s next Superman faces mass boycotts over their recent reveal, which got fans riled up and amassing under the #BoycottWB Twitter hashtag, which states that Warner Bros. Studios is the DC Extended Universe’s biggest villain. Here’s what it’s all about.
We already covered the great divide between director Zack Snyder and Warner Bros. over the discontinuation of The Snyder Verse, which cost Warner Bros their chance to ever compete with Marvel, and their Marvel Cinematic Universe. At the time of writing, WB’s now-infamous Justice League 4K trailer featuring Whedon’s Cut of the movie amassed over 115,000 dislikes on YouTube, and the number continues to rise. But even that wasn’t the straw that broke the camel’s back and caused the Superman boycott to trend. No, Warner Bros revealed that the Superman reboot features a Black lead as Clark Kent – a spark that lit the #BoycottWB wildfires. But what precisely got the fans so riled up?
Warner Bros.’s initial announcement of the Superman reboot featuring a Black lead gained a lot of positive attention. Despite that, many saw it as a way to compete with Marvel’s new Captain America (Sam Wilson/Anthony Mackie) or Miles Morales’ Spider-Man, which both feature leads of African American (or Latino) descent. Future revelations, however, disclosed the Black lead is filling the shoes of Kal-El of Krypton, also known as Clark Kent, the original Superman – a role once held by the actor Henry Cavill. The news got the fandom riled up and calling for the Superman boycott on social media, mainly under the #BoycottWarnerBros hashtag on social media.
The fandom’s call for the Superman boycott may seem like a racial question at first, but that isn’t the case. Nobody made a fuss over Miles Morales, a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man of Afro-Latino descent, as he’s a character in his own right, and according to fans, possibly one of the coolest superheroes in the history of comics. But Marvel invested time, and perhaps funds, into character and lore development, which made Morales popular in the first place. The problem with Black Superman, or more precisely Black Clark Kent, is Warner Bros.’s racial-bending of the character to, once again, copy and cash in on Marvel’s homework.
To be honest, the fandom’s outcry and call for boycotts are more than reasonable, considering the wealth of material WB has access to, which would aid the creation of a different Black Superman, like Calvin Ellis or Val-Zod. Both characters are Black and wear the mantle of Superman in their respective universes. But none of them was Kal-El, aka Clark Kent. With everything said, the Superman boycott movement is still in its infancy and nowhere near as solidified as #RestoreTheSnyderVerse. Still, it’s growing rapidly, with more and more people calling to boycott the film.
It seems that Warner Bros.’ threw another punch in its own gut and another wrench in its own gears by making questionable decisions. The controversial storytelling decisions, the discontinuation of The Snyder Verse, and fandom’s loyalty to Cavill’s Superman made this particular decision into a PR nightmare for the studio. What’s next, WB, a Caucasian Cyborg?