This hasn’t exactly been a vintage week for social media response to breaking news given some of the spectacularly ill-judged comments in the wake of the terror attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.
It just got worse. Zack Snyder, director of blockbusters including Batman v Superman and 300 and executive producer of Wonder Woman and Suicide Squad, announced he was stepping down from filmmaking duties on Justice League which is in postproduction. He disclosed his daughter Autumn Snyder, 20, had committed suicide in March.
Snyder, who has eight children, told the Hollywood Reporter he wanted to take time out to deal with the fall-out from the family tragedy. Joss Whedon will take over.
“I thought it was a cathartic thing to go back to work, to just bury myself and see if that was the way through it,” Snyder said. “The demands of this job are pretty intense. It is all-consuming.
“And in the last two months, I’ve come to the realization … I’ve decided to take a step back from the movie to be with my family, be with my kids, who really need me. They are all having a hard time. I’m having a hard time.”
The majority of the response to Snyder’s news was overwhelmingly supportive and sympathetic. But a despicable minority sought to make light of the development in as tasteless fashion as you can get.
Here is a short selection of the hatred out there:
Zack Snyder’s daughter committed suicide… don’t blame her, if my dad made shit movies I’d do the same
— James (LazerzZ) (@LazerzZHD) May 23, 2017
Zack Snyder bailed on Justice League because his daughter died. Hopefully her death just saved the DC movie universe. Snyder is a hack.
— Windows98 (@windows9d8) May 23, 2017
is zack snyder’s daughter a member of the suicide squad now
— Baby James (@BinnyKitsch) May 24, 2017
Some on social media declared enough was enough:
>Says we need SJW’s bcause of people making fun of Zack Snyder
>SJW’s laugh about his daughters suicide
The fuck is wrong with people?
— Heavy Metal Gamer (@HMG_Show) May 24, 2017
all these suicide squad jokes about Autumn Snyder on my TL are disgusting. Show some fucking respect
— Matt the Baker (@mattthebaker97) May 22, 2017
Trolls seeking to exploit Snyder’s grief have infected reports of the sad situation. For instance in a comment posted on Buzz Feed’s article, Grant Lauritzen, a student at California State University, wrote: “I thought there wasn’t anyone who could fuck up the film as a director worse than him…….then I heard this news. Well, at least we still have Wonder Woman. After Catwoman, Supergirl, Red Sonja, etc. it’s about time we had a watchable female superhero film.”
A consolation is that Snyder himself seems to have anticipated this response, saying when he announced he was stepping down from Justice League: “When it became obvious that I needed 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.”
But should the social media community care about how twisted some of its members are becoming?