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Monday, April 16, 2012 

Studio making Avengers movie did something right

The New York Times interviewed Joss Whedon about the new Avengers movie he's directing, and tells of a liberal rhetoric scene that ended up on the cutting room floor:
Q.What would be an example of something you didn’t figure out until later in the process?
A.One of the best scenes that I wrote was the beautiful and poignant scene between Steve and Peggy [Carter] that takes place in the present. And I was the one who was like, Guys, we need to lose this. It was killing the rhythm of the thing. And we did have a lot of Cap, because he really was the in for me. I really do feel a sense of loss about what’s happening in our culture, loss of the idea of community, loss of health care and welfare and all sorts of things. I was spending a lot of time having him say it, and then I cut that.
Well I think he did the right thing. This increasingly leftist writer was already going out of his way with political insanity when he and his co-writer Andrew Chambliss on the Buffy comics wrote about her getting an abortion after ending up throughly drunk at a party. Why do we have to hear a politicized speech that's basically telling nobody's got a responsibility to society by earning a living and pulling their own weight, and all coming from someone who's made loads of cash during his 2 decades plus in showbiz?

Newsbusters says that conservative comics fans surely would've been embarrassed to hear Capt. America spouting leftist/socialist rhetoric, but the thing is - this has been going on for a long time, definitely for a decade now, in the very comic books Capt. America's originated in. Already back in 2002-2003, there were accusations taking place in the comics that the USA were "terrorists" in a contrived story featuring a small town with a bomb-making factory taken hostage by terrorists who turned out to be supplied by the USA itself, and Steve Rogers acting as though his own country was a scapegoat, no matter what he said in defense. The Marvel Knights series where this took place became unreadable very fast, and was deservedly canceled 2 years later. Yet many of the overt liberal talking points have still remained, whether it was in the Avengers, the Civil War crossover, the Ultimate line, or even Captain America's own series published since then.

In fact, why did Whedon feel he needed to edit out the liberalism from the Avengers movie, yet had no qualms about the Buffy comic he published spouting almost similar rhetoric? This basically symbolizes a problem of how comics are being exploited under the very noses of the public, because the writers think nobody will care enough about the medium to object (and sadly, it does seem at times like few do), and thus see it as the perfect way to get away with a lot of aggravating nonsense. If that's so, then it's a real shame, and certainly odd how filmmakers might recognize that overly liberal rhetoric can lose them a lot of money, but comics publishers don't see the same way.

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I agree, Avi. Whedon may have lost me with that lame pro-abortion "Buffy" comic he wrote, but this does redeem him somewhat in my mind. He's always had a leftist streak, though, which was apparent in some episodes of Buffy and Angel. Read his "Astonishing X-Men" run from 2004 to 2007 and he routinely takes potshots at then-President Bush and conservatives in general. I'm glad that he had the sense to remove that nonsense from the script, though, and that he (or perhaps the Disney brass) realized that the overly-leftist nonsense alienates people.

Carl

If you look at his quote, it's not because he showed sound judgment in aliennating half (or more) of his film's potential audience. It's that Whedon felt it slowed down the story. Nothing more.

Whedon should have (libertarian) Tim Minnear read and edit everything he writes these days. Worked well on Firefly...

(Incidentally, a period-authentic Cap would likely be an FDR Democrat - essentially a fascist, complete with eugenics views. The American left didn't retreat en masse from patriotism until LBJ's days, and didn't mostly retreat from eugenics until the 1950s.)

If Cap was positing that healthcare and welfare have decreased since his WW II era-time, then he should have been laughed right out of the movie. Because they've both increased substantially since the 40s.

Sheesh.

Exactly, Hube. They've both increased since the end of World War II, so such a statement is quite laughable, and to me it seems like Whedon included it just to potentially alienate people who are opposed to Obamacare. I'm glad it was cut out, because all too often Cap has been abused by liberal writers with an axe to grind.

Writers in the old days diding a better job hiding their biases. Look at Englehart's "Secret Empire" from 1974, where the leader of the Secret Empire was implied to be Nixon. That's a great story. Same with "The Captain" storyline from the Mark Gruenwald era. Also a great story.

Carl

Well stated, Carl.

BTW, I just did my own post about this topic here.

While I am saddened it was even included, but glad someone came to the proper senses. By the way, let's not forget about Mark Ruffalo's recent OWS inclinations, so let's hope that doesn't come to bite Marvel back.

As for the Buffy vs. Cap comparison, like it or not, Whedon owns Buffy, so he can do whatever he wants with her. If he wants her to be a younger Gloria Steinem, that's his choice and that's fine. What I don't like is how Whedon doesn't own Captain America, and thought, "hey, I'll make him say 'healthcare SUX!"

It's the same issue I had with David Kelley's Wonder Woman. He didn't own her, but he wanted to make her into your average Ally McBeal leftist, and it didn't work with her. (Though, it would have worked Green Arrow for obvious reasons.)

If liberal writers really need such intellectual masturbation in their fictions, fine, create your own characters to do so (or, if you must, go with diehard liberal characters like GA). Don't usurp previously copyrighted characters to make the same polarizing point, let alone if such a political jab would make sense, characterization-wise.

As for Whedon, I never understood his appeal, anyway. Looking at this and what the rest of you said, I'm not sure I want to.

And I second what Carl said. In the 80's and 90's, Gruenwald showed his share of liberal-ish stories (i.e., the Watchdogs), but they still were entertaining. Compared to these days, that really was higher art.

Maybe Cap's Obamacare sermon will be included in the unrated collectors-edition variant box directors' cut.

Thanks for the heads up on this. I'm just afraid that there will be more surprises that didn't get cut... Sigh.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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