Late last month, it was announced that Cartoon Network would be producing a brand new ThunderCats animated series, and the internet had a total meltdown. Instead of being pleased that such an iconic property was being brought back from the dead, fans of the original 1980’s TV show and its 2011 reboot began a campaign of hate directed towards the creators of the show, the artists that worked on the episodes, and the network that made it all happen.
Sadly, this is not the first case of fans have gone out of their way to take their anger out on creators. Recently, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was given a makeover, and heads practically exploded when the character designs were revealed. I won’t even go into the comments I read online about April O’Neil’s skin color, because that’s a whole other conversation for another day.
Another particularly savage case of this was the Paul Feig directed, all-female Ghostbusters reboot. As soon as the idea was announced, the trolls awoke from their slumbers to begin poking holes in it. This continued right up until the film’s release, despite receiving mixed reviews – not totally negative, despite what people might tell you. The trolling got so bad that Leslie Jones actually quit Twitter after a string of horrendous and racially charged insults were hurled her way almost non-stop on the social media platform. All this because people didn’t think Ghostbusters: Answer the Call was a worthy reboot of an incredibly popular movie franchise. How sad have we become?
There seems to be a common misconception in our geek community that when something we love is remade, rebooted, or redesigned, it erases everything we ever loved about the original. Yet, as if by magic, the first incarnations don’t just disappear from the ether, nor do their IMDB pages turn to dust in the process. They still exist, and they are still as good as they were all those years ago. Yes, ‘remake’ has become a dirty word, but a look back at the history of cinema is all you’ll need to do to realize that remakes and reimaginings have been around forever, and many of them are considered some of the greatest movies ever made. Just look at The Thing, The Fly, Scarface, and even the latest Planet of the Apes movies if you don’t believe me. And, if for whatever reason, ThunderCats Roar is a total blowout, then oh well – at least we still have the other two versions to keep us entertained, right?
It’s sometimes a difficult pill to swallow when you take a step back and realize that the all-inclusive community of freaks, geeks, and weirdos we are all a part of isn’t quite as open-minded as we once thought. Yes, we’re all guilty of it. Heck, I originally hated the designs of the last Nickelodeon TMNT reboot, yet ended up loving the series anyway. But there’s a very big gap between being so pig-headed that you won’t watch an all-female remake of your favorite movie and forcing someone to retreat from the public eye simply because of their involvement in that same movie. There’s simply no excuse for that – and if that’s something you’re seeing on the internet today, then report it and stamp that shit out.
The simple message here is not that we can’t all have opinions, but that we need to remember there are real people on the other side of our comments and tweets. Just because we have a platform that allows this behavior to happen, doesn’t mean it should. Let’s be grateful for the continuation of franchises that we love, even if you don’t enjoy what’s coming out right now. After all, it wasn’t all that long ago when our geeky passions weren’t as readily available as they are today, and we all remember how much that sucked, right?
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