Wendig wrote the best-selling Star Wars; Aftermath trilogy, which fills in the gaps that lead up to the events of The Force Awakens. He also wrote a novelisation of that movie.
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He was currently mid-way through a five-part miniseries Shadow of Vader when he was summarily fired.
He revealed the news on Twitter is a string of messages to shocked fans: “I just got fired from Marvel. Taken off issues 4 and 5 of SHADOW OF VADER, and taken off an as-yet-unannounced SW book…
“To rewind a little bit, when SW: AFTERMATH came out, I assume most know but maybe you don’t, I put some ahh, elements in there (LGBT characters) that were not received well by a certain subset of fandom. That resulted in both a negative review campaign, found across various FB groups and other Worst Places on the Internet, that began mounting the very minute the book dropped online.”
“I also started receiving TONS of harassment – harassment that has gone on for years, harassment that has required me to contact local police and warn them of SWATting attempts, harassment across all corners of the Internet, here, FB, Reddit, YouTube.
“Today I got the call. I’m fired. Because of the negativity and vulgarity that my tweets bring. Seriously, that’s what Mark, the editor said. It was too much politics, too much vulgarity, too much negativity on my part. Basically, because I was not civil.
“It does set a troubling precedent. One we’ve seen already – James Gunn, Jessica White, and so on – of folks fired because they riled up the wasp’s nest of asterisk-gate. And it seems odd to be mad that I’m mad about politics when – well, look around. Climate change, kids in cages, sexual harassers at the topmost tiers of power, and so on.
“I know it hands Comicsgate a big win. It will embolden them. But they won — I’m out of Marvel and, I guess for now, at least, out of any kind of Star Wars.”
It is yet another example of the ever-widening gap in the US between left and right-wing views. It is being played out on social media on both sides but there has been a notable increase in extreme right-wing groups orchestrating campaigns to bring down high-profile liberals.
Wendig has been vocal on social media in his oppostion to Donald Trump, Republican politics and the recent appointment of Brett Kavanaugh. Many might agree with his views but his language has sometimes, indeed, been ‘vulgar’.
Comicsgate is a right-wing lobby group dedicated to erasing left-wing and liberal attitudes from comics and related films and media.
One of the group’s advocates Richard C Meyer regularly posts misogynist and bigoted videos. He referred to a female Marvel Comics editor as a “c** dumpster”, accused various female professionals of “sucking their way into the industry”, and labelled a transgender female writer a “man in a wig”.
Wendig also added: “To conclude: this is really quite chilling. And it breaks my heart. I am very sad, and worried for the country I live in, and the world, and for creative people all around. Courage to you all. I have a dire fear this is going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better.”
Marvel’s dismissal of Wendig follows weeks the six-issue miniseries The Vision was dropped two months before publication. The creative team included Chelsea Cain who is also a public advocate for left-wing and liberal and has been attacked by right-wing trolls on social media.
Three months ago Marvel’s owners Disney fired openly liberal James Gunn after a right-wing group dug up highly offensive tweets written by the director up to ten years ago.
The entire situation is becoming increasingly ugly and highly volatile as two opposing world-views clash across social and all media. Both sides are inflicting damage on themselves and each other, but the fans will be the ultimate losers.