By David T. Valentin
The Black Widow and Hawkeye actress, Florence Pugh, who plays Yelena was seemingly blocked from posting anything about Hawkeye after she spoiled an episode in which she made her appearance.
In yesterday’s newest episode of the Disney+ episodic Marvel series, Yelena makes her appearance during a fight scene with Kate Bishop and Hawkeye. Well, Pugh posted both a still of her as Yelena with the caption “...She’s here.” along with a clip of her reacting to the epic fight in where she hilariously adds her own sounds.
Although the actress had good intentions, many Marvel fans were seemingly “outraged” that Pugh spoiled such a big reveal before fans can watch the show for themselves. The outrage was so large that Instagram temporarily blocked the actress from posting.
“I never thought me posting love about a show in which I appear on would get taken down... but here we are,” Pugh writes on Instagram stories. “Someone on here complained so I’ve been blocked from posting my own appearance on a show that I’m very much in. Beyond ridiculous. Being in #Hawkeye is a privilege and thank you to all who welcomed me on set and off and all who are watching.”
Even more so, the fans behavior is incredibly hypocritical, especially considering all the hype and demands to squeeze more information out of Marvel for specific plot details for the highly anticipated upcoming Spiderman film, Spider Man: No Way Home, set to release December 17th of this year and is rumored to feature alternative versions of Spiderman from the other Spiderman movies. The amount of leaks that have popped up on timelines and news feeds by fans who want to share their knowledge before the movie comes out is far worse than Florence Pugh posting spoilers about an episode that was already released.
Although there was a large group of Marvel fans who complained about Pugh spoiling the appearance of Yelena on the show, many fans took to Twitter to post about how ridiculous the situation was and also the hypocrisy of some of these fans.
The situation, I think, leads into a larger issue of toxic fandom behavior, where fans believe they can bully actors and entire production companies to get what they want. Take for instance the Snyder cut, where many fans insisted to release Zack Snyder’s cut—and original vision—for The Justice League movie. After many petitions and discussions online, leading Warner Bros. to release the director’s cut of the film.
Of course, the situation for Snyder was a personal matter which did not allow him to complete his creative plan for the movie, but the ramifications of the situation are not pretty. After the release of the Snyder cut, fans of all different fandoms were emboldened to speak out to release different cuts of different movies, like Suicide Squad, the Star Wars sequels specifically The Rise of Skywalker, and a few others.
Even in the past, stepping away from director’s cuts and what not, toxic fandoms have taken up their keyboards to actually harass, bully, and outright threaten actors for playing a character they disliked. Specifically, Star Wars actors Kelly Marie Tran and John Boyega come to mind as they had to deal with harassment, much of which was racially fueled, which forced the actors to grow distant from the Star Wars franchise and the characters they portrayed.
Whether driven by a genuine craving to see a more accurate movie to the director’s vision or just because the movie’s plot didn’t go the way they wanted, the request to release all these different cuts of movies is just odd and entitled. To most people in the creative industries, the feeling of not seeing your creative vision completely fulfilled the way you want is not an unfamiliar one. When big production companies and publishing companies oversee these forms of media, often things get changed whether it be for financial reasons or for marketing and sales reasons.
Sometimes those changes aren’t the best for the plot or character arcs for these stories, but at the end of the day it’s just business and nothing personal to these fans.