Internet Trolls: What’s the Point?

Hi there, Carolyn here! I’m posting this on Benson’s behalf due to a technical glitch that has him locked out of our page. Here’s his blog post for today!

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So here is the thing, the Internet is full of crappy people who like to dump on anything and everything. This is made clear every time a movie in production casts someone that the Internet doesn’t like for what is usually a racist, sexist or otherwise prejudiced reason.The majority of the time it is fuelled by nonsense and I want to take a moment to talk about some of those times we’ve seen the internet lose its mind over casting, and rumors of casting for another franchise that will likely cause another explosion of craziness.

This year Columbia Pictures released a reboot of Ghostbusters, now I’ll put my opinion of reboots aside, the casting of this movie caused a stir because it was a brand new retelling with an all female cast instead of a sequel with the original cast or characters.  The Internet lost its ever loving mind, spewing nonsense like their “childhood had been ruined” and “women aren’t funny”. First off the four ladies that were cast are funny lets get that straight,. Is everything they do hilarious? No, but overall Leslie Jones, Kristin Wiig, Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon are funny. I have to stop for a moment and admit that I have yet to see this movie but it is not because it stars four woman, even though it seems every time I stated that I had no interest in the movie, 9 out of 10 times I was called sexist. I have yet to see it cause it didn’t appeal to me, but not every movie has to appeal to every person. My taste in movies is not fueled by the gender or race of the cast, I’m interested in good writing, acting and direction in a comedy film and this film didn’t catch my eye when the trailer was released. What bothered me the most about the Ghostbusters response was the treatment of Leslie Jones. She deleted her Twitter account for a while because she was receiving terrible threats and comments, simply because she played an character in a movie. My mind can’t grasp how someone can be so upset over a movie casting that they threaten a person.

Last month, the Spider-Man: Homecoming movie announced that  an actress named  Zendaya, who I’ll admit I’ve never heard of, was cast in the movie. Her role was originally announced to be that of Mary Jane Watson, who is canonically Peter Parker’s girlfriend, but since the news originally broke some have speculated that she will be playing a character  named Michelle. No matter who she ends up playing, the initial reaction to her casting was another example of the Internet going crazy. So Mary Jane Watson is normally portrayed as a white girl with red hair and Zendaya is of mixed race and has black hair. Now the red hair thing isn’t the issue that caused an uproar, it’s her skin colour that drove the internet trolls crazy. These trolls were upset that a fictional character they do not own the rights to was going to be portrayed by an actress of mixed race. Look can we just state who these people are? They are racists, racists who hide behind the idea that because in comic book form and all the previous movies Mary Jane was white she must be portrayed as white again, when in fact they just don’t like that someone of colour has been cast instead of a white actor. I got into a Twitter argument (something you should never do), with a troll who said this disrupted the canon of Spider-Man. I quickly got out of the conversation because you can’t win against a troll. I don’t care if Mary Jane or Peter Parker are white, black or green as long as the actors are the best choices for those roles and if the movie is good, I’ll be enjoy it. If the skin colour or gender of an actor or actress is the biggest problem you have in your life, then congrats because you are living the sweet life.
I’ve been predicting for a while that the next internet freakout will come with the casting of the next James Bond. I’ve been saying for some time that I think British actor Idris Elba would make a perfect Bond but the problem is, he is not a Caucasian man but rather one with a darker skin tone and I know if he is casted, the Internet will be upset and claim that Bond must be white, which is ridiculous. James Bond is a character that changes over time: his age, his accent and the actor that portrays him, so why should the actors skin tone matter if he is the best choice? Whether it is Bond or MJ or whoever, the best actor should play the part. When Heath Ledger was casted as the Joker in The Dark Knight, I thought this was a terrible choice. Look how wrong I was on that, his Joker portrayal to me is the best Joker and it shut me up once and for all. I won’t worry about casting or complain about it until I see the movie. You never know who will surprise you.