Rick Remender and Faux Outrage

About five days ago, the latest faux outrage hit social media. This one was a movement to get writer Rick Remender fired for a scene in Captain America #22 featuring Sam Wilson/Falcon and Jet Black, the daughter of Armin Zola. The rage was over the “fact” that Remender depicted statutory rape, between the two characters… except that’s not what happened in the scene, and the claim was initially made by a website whose main focus is hate towards Remender. But this didn’t stop individuals for calling on Marvel to fire Remender.

Below is the beginning of the scene in question and this blog has a good timeline about the character Jet Black and her age.

jet black sam wilson captain america 22Right there, in the above panel, it’s quite clear that Jet is at least over 23, but that didn’t stop the rage to spin into insanity.

From what I can tell, the outrage began about five days ago from this Tumblr blog Weiner Soldier, a site “living a rick remender hate life.” The site generally is dedicated to how Remender ruined comics for Jackie, a 26 year old that thinks “marvel comics has ruined (their) life.” How has he done so?

2014-07-07_1143That’s a long list of complaints, and while some might be valid, most haven’t had their story lines played out, and much of the “fridging” will be likely undone when Remender’s story arcs wrap up, and the current Cap storyline is leading us into Marvel’s next event AXIS. But, right there, in bullet point #8, the individual admits that Jet is now “23.”

Topsy pegs the hashtag #firerickremender starting at this point, linking to the blog mentioned. While generally, the complaints are that he’s “ruined Captain America” at some point it morphs into his depiction of the alleged statutory rape. This is the earliest mention I’ve found of it:

2014-07-07_1148While the original blog post alluded to it, the rage shifts to a pretty nasty, and unfounded claim. And that lie is repeated:

2014-07-07_1151While this rolls, the actual issue of sex while under the influence of alcohol is ignored, an actual issue one can make an argument about. Unfortunately, the false info made it’s way to the Examiner, a bastion of bad reporting, and that only threw more fuel to the fire. Add in the fact the one committing the “act” is African American, and now you have racial overtones to boot. On top of that, “facts” like sales figures are thrown around in a vacuum and context is left out, like the normal attrition in sales for ongoing comic book series. Don’t let “facts” get in your way people! We’ve got some raging to do!

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Luckily cooler heads prevailed, and the Twitter fiasco hashtag was hijacked by those who found the whole situation silly. But, this is the latest example of geek rage fueling the internet and driving the reactions from individuals who don’t have the entire story, or outright lied to. Dan Slott was accused of depicting rape in Superior Spider-Man from a site who should know better. That “event” never happened in the comic, and was based on little. JJ Abrams was accused of a hell of a lot of things spurred by the initial casting announcement over Star Wars Episode VII. After more announcements, the movie is the most diverse Star Wars film ever (and one of the most period), and I’m still waiting for people to apologize for their knee-jerk reactions.

In the end, social media has allowed us to connect with each other, and creators more so than any other time before. Unfortunately, it has also allowed for armchair activism that’s misguided, and misplaced. Rape is a serious matter, and to point fingers and rage when there’s nothing to do so about, diminishes actual victims and dilutes a real world problem. When there’s so much to actual rage about, this sort of faux outrage only distracts us…. and drives up clicks for websites.

 

Update: Please don’t direct anger at the original blog (or any of the Twitter accounts) linked here, or any folks online in general. “Rage” in general just isn’t cool, you just head down the road to being a Red Lantern. Comics are supposed to be fun people! – Brett

 

Update 2: Comments have been closed before things spiral. What was thrown towards Remender was wrong, and what is spewed back the other way is wrong as well. As one commenter has stated “be better people.” Simple words to live by.

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28 comments

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  • Hi, I’m that Jackie. How dare you a) link to my personal blog, and b) provide location information? A link to my twitter means linking to my likeness. This is unacceptable.

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    • All the information is public.

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      • why not edit that information out at least?

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        • Done, the city has been removed.

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          • wouldn’t it be a better idea to remove the usernames as well? instead of just saying not to harass her?

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            • That I disagree with. All the information was present in either the blog linked, or through tracking the conversation on the hashtag.

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              • That doesn’t matter. She can delete the post to help with her blog not being found but by including her username in a controversial topic… well, you’ve essentially straight up told people where to harass her. Have some class.

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              • Why? It prevents people from finding her blog/twitter so easily (which prevents a fraction of the potential backlash). Most sites I follow do this as a courtesy.

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                • I’m keeping it as a source. The article is about facts and the history of this latest “frage” (as one person put it), and I think sourcing it all is something that needs to be done. If I didn’t link to it, I’d instead have taken screen shots.

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          • I don’t understand why it’s necessary to include her username to begin with, much less her city. The article would have been just as effective without it.

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            • The location has been removed, you’re correct it was unnecessary. The links to the blog and Twitter are needed though. I’m sorry, but that’s the source of this as far as I can find in a lot of digging. A source that called for someone’s firing based on misinformation, and faux-outrage. The “movement” as a whole diminished actual issues, such as actual rape, and the vitriol it spawned is as disgusting as what’s been directed back. Neither is acceptable.

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      • And? You might as well have painted a target on her back by linking to her blogs, especially with that winking “but you totally shouldn’t harass her” disclaimer at the very end. She’s already getting plenty of harassment and threats for daring to have an opinion on the internet. Why the fuck would you add to that possibility? You know god damned well how people behave online.

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        • The “don’t harass her” was sincere. Anyone that has read this site knows we don’t tolerate harassment of any kind.

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          • Yeah, well. Maybe you should tell that to the men on Twitter who have sent her rape threats, death threats, and pictures of their genitals. They don’t seem to understand that. And there will always be more of them because for every single reader you have who takes your “don’t harass” policy to heart, there are five more who don’t give a shit and will do whatever they want anyway.

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            • That I can’t do much about except follow up after with a post about the unacceptable responses.

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              • A good way to prevent this from happening in the first place would be to NOT link directly to her blog and Twitter. If you were following the situation at all, you’d know how much she is being attacked personally for daring to have an opinion. You’re adding fuel to the fire.

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  • Totally disregarding how hilariously wrong you are about all the valid issues we have with cap, how DARE you mention where this blogger LIVES, and her NAME. They’re worried for their personal safety, and you say “don’t harass them!!” playfully at the end??? How dare you. You’ve literally put someone in danger just to jump on the bandwagon, and it’s disgusting. You should be ashamed of yourself.

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    • You realize all that info is posted by the person in question, right?

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      • That’s true, but she can delete her personal information anytime on her blog, if things get uglier. You are using her personal info as a way of intimidation.

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        • This exactly.

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        • You understand the irony of be accused of intimidation when the story was about attempting intimidation and trying to get someone fired for an untruth?

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  • I follow this user and you’ve taken a lot of what has been said out of context. Your comment “a 26 year old that thinks ‘marvel comics has ruined (their) life’” is probably referring to her sidebar. This has been there for as long as I can remember and on Tumblr it’s not uncommon to say this as a compliment TOWARDS Marvel. e.g. I can’t stop reading this comics marvel is ruining/taking over my life.

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    • That I’d agree can be read that way.

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  • This is how the Internet is now: people are so quick to jump on the social justice train and get some asspats that they end up looking dumb when they don’t have the whole story. Then they have the gall to shit on journalists for telling them uncomfortable truths which may upset their hate train.

    I know the Internet loves its “Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequence” train, but if that consequence is based on false information, it’s pretty easy to affect someone’s business, livelihood and reputation on nothing more than emotional quick-fires.

    Be better,, people.

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    • I think “be better people” is a lesson that can go around and be followed by everyone.

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