People are hating on Jared Leto’s Joker again. Surprise.
In another case of “WB hasn’t officially said anything, and we need clicks,” the bloggers and trades reported that DC Films is doing a Joker movie in the DC Extended Universe, allegedly in addition to the Todd Phillips “Elseworlds” Joker movie that is rumored to star Joaquin Phoenix. All of this was reported as factual information from “sources” without a single official word from WB/DC. Again.
That’s a separate issue on how unreliable and damaged film journalism has become, and how the laziness of the audience in general has prompted that turn. We’ll talk about that later.
For now, let’s talk about hate trains, specifically in this case the one for Leto’s take on the Clown Prince of Crime. Forget what you thought of Suicide Squad as a movie, that’s yet another issue. The version of The Joker that it presented was steeped in comic imagery and lore, as has been proven many times all over the Internet:
Yet whenever the character comes up in conversation, someone always has to add their two cents about how much they hated it:
All that hatred and snark over one version of a character that has had multiple interpretations for the past 78 years. Stop me if you’ve seen this movie before, DC fans.
There’s a bigger issue here though, and that’s more to do with this idea that people actually care about what other people hate, so much to the point that clickbait is literally designed around hatred of a thing all the time. Articles about reasons that something is the worst or why something sucks are a common source of “journalism” on social media and the internet at large today. Negativity is literally a marketing demographic.
Isn’t that pathetic? That people actually think other people care about what they hate enough to write snarky clickbait about it? Anyone out there remember what it’s like to be positive about anything? To actually like something? I’m beginning to wonder.
Yeah, I know, people have a right to voice their disappointment about things, even if they are just rumors and have no tangible facts to support their anger. This isn’t about whether or not people have the right to post anger and hatred, it’s about whether or not they SHOULD. The clickbait hatred about Jared Leto’s Joker is getting shared all over the place by people who agree with it and by people who disagree with it and can’t figure out how to screenshot things so that the source of the hatred doesn’t get any more direct attention. I get that, but what kind of culture are you building with that hate-mongering mob think in the first place? Fine if you didn’t like Leto’s Joker, or Henry Cavill’s Superman or Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor. You don’t have to like them, but do you have to build a culture of hatred around them with “think pieces” about how much they suck and how bad of an idea it is to keep making things with them?
At some point, being part of a fandom or writing about a particular fandom has to be about the nature of fandom itself, which is supposed to be fun and positivity isn’t it? Aren’t we supposed to be celebrating and appreciating what we love instead of focusing on what we hate? Aren’t hate groups a serious problem in society today? Doesn’t it take more muscles in the human face to frown than it does to smile? Voice your displeasure when you feel like it sure, but don’t harp on it constantly whenever it comes up and don’t jump on a hate train for one thing just because so many others are on it. There’s really nothing noble or altruistic about any of that.
In many ways, all social media and blogging is at times is a collection of hate trains for something. It’s much easier to find people that hate something than it is to find people that love something, and maybe that’s a commentary on how skeptical and angry of a people we all are, but that just makes the problem even worse if that’s the case because then we’ve forgotten how to be happy, or at the very least we’ve forgotten how to be civil when it comes to something we don’t care for. Don’t be that person, be better than that. Hate whatever you want, but don’t feel the need to spew it constantly whenever it comes up. If that’s all we ever did all the time, fandom would become pretty disgusting and in some cases it has already, so we need to guard against that and remember that no one should really care about what we hate. Fandom is supposed to be fun, not hateful.