When fan petitions arise, it begs the question: does Hollywood read these petitions? Do they care what fans think? And is there another way to get Hollywood’s attention besides creating a petition?
Batman v Superman is the breakout hit film of March 2016. Forbes reports that during the first weekend of release, the film brought in an impressive $170 million in ticket sales domestically. Despite being profitable, it is obvious via Rotten Tomatoes that fans and critics remain split on whether or not the film is good. Many of the complaints seem to stem from the film’s direction, with many blaming director Zack Snyder for the film’s cinematic failures. Due to these failures, fans have organized a Change.org petition to oust the director from the franchise, with the hope that Hollywood will listen.
A fan petition against a Hollywood decision is not a new thing. A recent and major petition was created surrounded the casting of actor Ben Affleck. When Affleck was announced as the new replacement for Christian Bale as Batman in Batman v Superman, fans went into meltdown mode. Fans made sure to let Hollywood know they didn’t appreciate this casting, and that anger manifested in the form of a Change.org petition.
In January 2015, Dreamworks studios announced they were adapting beloved Japanese anime series Ghost in the Shell into a live-action film. Variety reported that actress Scarlett Johannson was cast in the title role of Japanese character Motoko Kusanagi.
“Ultimately, Ghost in the Shell is a story about what makes us human. Having access to powerful media representation is key for minorities to be seen as human. As a successful white actress, Scarlett Johansson has been privileged to play powerful women characters in action films. ‘Ghost in the Shell’ was a chance for an actress of Asian descent to have that same opportunity.”
Before the date of closing, the petition had received 65,607 signatures, but Scarlett Johansson remains on board with the project. New Zealand website Stuff.co.nz reports that Johansson begins filming Ghost in the Shell in Wellington this week.
Change.org and other petition sites like it are useful tools for bringing light to issues involving activism or issues pertaining to human rights. While fan petitions make light of fan gripes and diversity issues within Hollywood, they don’t seem to be making a difference. It’s clear from the lack of compliance from Hollywood, they will continue to do whatever they want, whether or not it makes sense. Fans want to be heard, but is Change.org a good way to about it?
[Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]