Just a day ago, superhero fans across the world were shocked when director #ZackSnyder stepped forward to reveal a personal tragedy. We learned that two months ago, Zack's 20-year-old daughter committed suicide. Needless to say, the family were devastated; Snyder attempted to soldier on with Justice League, but ultimately chose to pass on the baton to Joss Whedon while he spends time with his family.
Here's the beautiful thing. Zack Snyder's work in the #DCEU has been pretty controversial, but this tragedy has seen fans unite in an unprecedented outpouring of sympathy and compassion. The hostility between Marvel and DC fans has seemed small and insignificant in the face of human grief and loss. It's evidently touched Zack Snyder's heart, as he responded on Twitter:
As a member of countless superhero communities on Facebook, my heart has been warmed by the unity I've seen. Sure, there have been a few bitter trolls, but they've been universally condemned. The fundamental response to this heartbreaking news has been one of love.
This is true even among those who have previously been critical of Zack Snyder's work. Take critic Jasper CH, who's been outspoken in his dislike of both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. He was particularly disturbed by the fact Snyder actually felt he had to go public about this personal tragedy. As Snyder had explained in his initial statement:
"Here’s the thing, I never planned to make this public. I thought it would just be in the family, a private matter, our private sorrow that we would deal with. When it became obvious that I need to take a break, I knew there would be narratives created on the internet. They’ll do what they do. The truth is … I’m past caring about that kind of thing now."
The problem is that, for fans and critics alike, criticism of the DCEU to date has become intertwined with criticism of Zack Snyder as a man. To an extent, this is inevitable; Man of Steel and Dawn of Justice are both unashamedly Snyder films, and demonstrate his unique and individual style. But have we gone too far? When a director feels he has to reveal his "private sorrow" to the world in order to prevent "narratives created on the internet," I think we've crossed a line. And as someone who writes online, I have to take a long, hard look at myself and ask if I'm part of that.
But here is the beauty in this moment of sorrow. As Zack Snyder's thanks demonstrates, he's seen critic and fan alike unite in sympathy towards their fellow human being. Whatever we think of Zack Snyder's work, whatever our views on the future of the superhero genre and the DCEU, on this one thing we are agreed: we stand with Zack Snyder and his family, offering only love and compassion.
(Source: Jasper CH)