“Rumor-Mill” Zack Snyder “Bot” Allegations Spark Warner Bros. Controversies, Main Star Claps Back

in Movies & TV

Ray Fisher as Cyborg (left) and Ezra Miller as Flash (right)

Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

The world of superheroes changed forever with the addition of Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2017), but now Warner Bros. is claiming “fake accounts fueled the Snyder Cut” movement. In the wake of this new allegation, one Justice League star is coming forward to set the record straight.

Zack Snyder with Henry Cavill as Superman (right)
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: Zack Synder Posts Cryptic Tweet After “Offensive” ‘Justice League’ Reports

It’s never easy being a Zack Snyder or Justice League fan, especially after the controversies surrounding director Joss Whedon’s version of Zack Snyder’s Justice League after Snyder exited the project in 2016 due to family emergencies.

With reports of mistreatment by Joss Whedon towards actress Gal Gadot and actor Ray Fisher, fans demanded that the “Snyder Cut” be released. Four years later and HBO Max officially released the infamous director’s cut. From there on out, an uphill battle began.

Ray Fisher as Cyborg (far left), Ezra Miller as Flash (left), Ben Affleck as Batman (left middle), Henry Cavill as Superman (right middle), Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman (right), and Jason Momoa as Aquaman (far right)
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

Zack Snyder took home the 2022 Oscar for #OscarsCheerMoment with Ezra Miller’s The Flash time travel scene in Justice League. Later, reports confirmed that online “bots” fueled the movement and caused both Snyder’s superhero film and Army of the Dead (2021) to take home honorary awards.

Now, a new report from WarnerMedia suggests that “fake accounts” spawned the Snyder Cut movement.

Multiple people at Warner Bros believe Snyder was pulling the strings on manipulating the campaign, Zack
Snyder claims “if anyone” was pulling strings, It was WB “trying to leverage my fan base to bolster subscribers to their new streaming service”

But, these allegations are being made false by Justice League star Ray Fisher:

.@RollingStone
and @TatianaSiegel27
need to amend this article immediately!

Neither myself, nor anyone on my team, EVER “declined to comment to Rolling Stone.”

Furthermore, this type of rumor-mill reporting is offensive, dangerous, and willfully evasive of fact.

A>E

While Cyborg was a new addition to the DCEU in Justice League, Zack Snyder later revealed that he wrote the entire story to revolve around Ray Fisher’s character. Taking a gamble on a then unknown actor, Fisher made the Cyborg role his, and fans can’t thank him enough.

Fisher has been vocal about the Snyder Cut movement since the beginning, posting encouraging Tweets alongside director Zack Snyder

Now, Rolling Stone is claiming the entire campaign was fake and “toxic”:

A toxic social media movement had already been building around the director since at least 2018, spiking with online cries for Warner Bros. to #ReleaseTheSnyderCut of Justice League two years later. As Snyder’s demands escalated behind the scenes — including for more money to finish his four-hour director’s cut of the film for HBO Max and access to intellectual property — so did a flood of attacks aimed at Warner Bros.: calls for boycotts, demands for some executives to be fired, even death threats against them. Fans went after anyone or anything deemed a danger to the so-called SnyderVerse, including directors like Adam Wingard (whose Godzilla vs. Kong launched on HBO Max 13 days after Snyder Cut and stole some of its thunder) and movies like Wonder Woman 1984 (on which Johns was a writer). The onslaught included cyber harassment so severe Warner Bros. security division got involved. (A Warner Bros. Discovery spokesperson declined to comment, “as this matter predates the current leadership and new company.”)…

And as the mayhem built, many insiders questioned how organic the SnyderVerse legion really was. According to two reports commissioned by WarnerMedia and recently obtained by Rolling Stone, at least 13 percent of the accounts that took part in the conversation about the Snyder Cut were deemed fake, well above the three to five percent that cyber experts say they typically see on any trending topic. (In public filings, Twitter has estimated that the percentage of daily active accounts on its platform that are “false or spam” is less than five percent.) So while Snyder had scores of authentic, flesh-and-blood fans, those real stans were amplified by a disproportionate number of bogus accounts.

Ben Affleck as Batman
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

The Stone continues:

“After researching online conversations about the Snyder Cut of the Justice League‘s release, specifically the hashtags ‘ReleaseTheSnyderCut’ and ‘RestoreTheSnyderVerse’ on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, [the analysts] detected an increase in negative activity created by both real and fake authors,” the report concluded. “One identified community was made up of real and fake authors that spread negative content about WarnerMedia for not restoring the ‘SnyderVerse.’ Additionally, three main leaders were identified within the authors scanned on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram — one leader on each platform. These leaders received the highest amount of engagement and have many followers, which gives them the ability to influence public opinion.” Furthermore, the report stated, many authors were spreading “harmful content” about then-Warner Bros. chairman Ann Sarnoff (who had called the fan trolling “reprehensible” in an interview with Variety), “with the majority of authors calling her a liar for the claim that there is no Snyder Cut of the movie and called for Warner Media to fire her. These authors also started using the hashtag ‘BoycottWarnerBros.’” Another internal report found an active sub-community that was attacking Johns…

The campaign didn’t end with the March 18, 2021, release of the Snyder Cut. The Wrap reported in May that bots may have factored into Snyder winning two fan-favorite awards at this year’s Oscars. And according to the social media firm Graphika, the pattern of a mostly organic social media fan frenzy augmented by a small number of inauthentic accounts is still playing out. “We see clear signs of coordinated online activity from May and June this year, when multiple communities pushed hashtags promoting Zack Snyder and deriding Warner Bros.,” Avneesh Chandra, a data analyst at Graphika, tells Rolling Stone. As examples, Graphika points to accounts that seemed to exist only to barrage Twitter and the replies of WarnerMedia social media accounts with constant pro-Snyder hashtags.

Justice League cast
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

The report claims that fake accounts cost Warner Bros. over $100 million to re-release Justice League for additional marketing and more, as well as noting that cyberbullying was at the forefront of many of the #RestoretheSnyderVerse chapters, including the online attack of Geoff Johns, former Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich, and DC Films president Walter Hamada.

Now, Ray Fisher has posted yet another Tweet shooting down the entirety of the Rolling Stone article:

Exclusive: Waning reporter (@TatianaSiegel27) fails to overshadow digital release of ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ with contrived hit piece—Warner Bros. mourns.

Sources say reporter still butt hurt after being called out on lies in 2021.

Zack Sndyer with Henry Cavill (left), Gal Gadot (middle), and Jason Momoa (right)
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

Ray Fisher has just come clear on the matter with the Rolling Stone piece, recently Tweeting that “Neither myself nor anyone on my team, EVER “declined to comment to Rolling Stone.” Furthermore, this type of rumor-mill reporting is offensive, dangerous, and willfully evasive of fact.”

Given that Fisher, one of the lead actors of both versions of the Justice League, has stated the above report is false, it’s clear that a new online fire has been sparked:

Nothing is more on brand for Warner Bros than working with an outlet to drop a negative piece on The Snyder cut the day it drops digitally

Another Twitter user writes:

And it seems it was deliberate timed bc it mentions WarnerMedia which has been dissolved for several months. Seems like it was written and held.

One fan shares:

A hit piece against Snyder. What’s new?

Another fan points out:

Yeah, this one is especially vile trying to assert that Snyder was pulling the strings of some major tech operation instead of just making movies he loves like the big passionate dork that he is. If Zaslav doesn’t speak out, this company won’t get a dollar from me.

Another Twitter user points out:

Rolling Stone made a whole damn article about 13% Snyder Cut bot accounts but they themselves got 24% fake followers LOL

Rolling Stone does state that Zack Snyder “hired a digital marketing firm” to spite Warner Bros. for the critical failure of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and fuel online engagement for his upcoming projects:

Every superhero tale needs an origin story. And the groundwork for the SnyderVerse siege had been laid well before 2020. While Snyder denies it, one source tells Rolling Stone the director hired a digital marketing firm to juice fan engagement back in 2016, when his $250 million film Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was savaged by critics (earning a dismal 29-percent RottenTomatoes rating) and disappointed Warner Bros. brass at the box office, as well as the DC fan base. (The movie took in $874 million worldwide; a DC stand-alone film like 2019’s Joker, by comparison, cost $70 million and earned $1.074 billion worldwide.) Nevertheless, the Snyder army was coalescing.

Nonetheless, the air needs to be cleared after these new reports from this exclusive report. However, it is worth mentioning that other co-stars, such as Gal Gadot, joined the Snyder Cut movement before the films’ re-release:

#ReleaseTheSnyderCut

With new sparks being fueled across social media with this Zack Snyder piece, it’s clear that fans won’t go down without a fight. Given Ray Fisher’s outspoken rejection of the allegations made, please take all of this with a grain of salt and tread lightly while understanding the information.

More about Justice League

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists newfound ally Diana Prince to face an even greater threat. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to recruit a team to stand against this newly awakened enemy. Despite the formation of an unprecedented league of heroes — Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck), Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Victor Stone/Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and Barry Allen/Flash (Ezra Miller) — it may be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.
Zack Snyder behind the scenes
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

Director Zack Snyder is actively producing his next blockbuster franchise, Rebel Moon, for Netflix with Ray Fisher, Charlie Hunnam, and more.

Was the Snyder Cut movement fake? Comment below!

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