Star Wars Director Rian Johnson Blames #GamerGate For Fan Disgruntlement

Rian Johnson vs GamerGate

Following on the heels of other Star Wars book authors attacking fans, Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson decided to take digs at disgruntled Star Wars and comic book fans by blaming #GamerGate for their dissatisfaction with the recent downturn in quality of Star Wars products.

Johnson responded to a tweet from another Star Wars writer, Bryan Young, who took aim at the #ComicsGate crowd by promoting a Daily Beast article grifting the narrative that independent comic creators Richard C. Meyer and Ethan Van Sciver are “anti-diversity”. Johnson was quick to state that all of this fan resentment towards the overtly politicized content in today’s mainstream entertainment industry – all of which is Left-leaning – is the fault of #GamerGate. More specifically, he claims that it was #GamerGate’s “violent harassment” that led to fans pushing back against the Social Justice Warrior agenda.

Various other content creators, influencers, and ground-zero participants in the #GamerGate consumer revolt attempted to offer Johnson rebuttals, books, information, videos, links, and articles properly explaining #GamerGate, but Johnson didn’t seem interested.

Strangely, this caused Feminist Frequency’s Anita Sarkeesian to come out of the woodwork to lambast Matt Jarbo from the MundaneMatt YouTube channel.

The reason MundaneMatt offered to talk to Johnson is because in a way his video helped get the ball rolling for what eventually became #GamerGate.

Matt made a video based on a blog post called The Zoe Post, and Zoe Quinn had Matt’s video DMCA’d. That kind of censorship on news commentary brought  big YouTubers like JonTron and the late TotalBiscuit out to defend the right to free speech. Eventually the situation devolved and snowballed from there as almost every major gaming media outlet censored the topic, eventually laying the groundwork for #GamerGate and the ongoing discussion about media ethics in journalism.

Rian Johnson, Anita Sarkeesian, and Bryan Young have resurfaced the topic once more, attempting to recenter it around harassment.

However, if you ask for any kind of evidence of said harassment, you get a string of people who deflect and defer to “I know a lot of people who were hurt” or “It caused real pain” but these people never seem to have any sort of screen captures, tweets, or statistics to back up their claims, even though there is evidence of anti-#GamerGate people harassing women and minorities who supported #GamerGate, as chronicled by Jennifer Medina back in January of 2015. This included the doxing and harassment of former #GamerGate supporter, Lizzy Finnigan.

This has been going on for four years.

Multiple people have contacted One Angry Gamer over the years asking “When will you report on #GamerGate’s harassment?” and I usually respond by asking “Do you have any evidence or tweets of this organized harassment?” 100% of the time the response is silence.

Out of everyone claiming that #GamerGate is a harassment campaign, not one person has been able to deliver credible evidence; out of the millions of tweets that were sent during the height of the movement, no one has been able to capture this supposed organized harassment. Even Newsweek’s graph noted that majority of the tweets sent through the hashtag were neutral.

Even Star Wars director Rian Johnson fails to back up any of claims about #GamerGate’s harassment, while attempting to rewrite history based on nothing more than his own mendacity.

The closest to “evidence” that has been produced by anti-#Gamergate critics is usually a reference to a public IRC chat where someone suggested to hack Zoe Quinn and then was promptly kicked from the chat for making the suggestion. This episode was actually chronicled in a report put together by The Escapist. The chat logs from the public chat room are also available for perusal via an archive.

Beyond that, even a peer reviewed report by WAM!, and a nine month long investigation by the FBI couldn’t find any actionable evidence that #GamerGate was ever a harassment campaign.

Johnson even goes so far as to attempt to rewrite history further by stating that #GamerGate wasn’t covered much at all by the media.

This is literally ignoring the fact that #GamerGate was written about by every major tech news outlet out there, as evidenced by the fact that there are more than 250 references on the Wikipedia page for #GamerGate. Time Magazine wrote about it, Rolling Stone had a feature for it, it was featured in an NBC nightly news program, and even had a spoof episode on Law & Order: SVU that featured YouTuber Logan Paul.

All of the reportage on #GamerGate from enthusiast and major news outlets (save for a few independent sites sympathetic to the cause) was slanted against the consumer revolt, painting it as a harassment campaign, even though men, women, teens, and gamers from all walks of life simply wanted the corruption in media to cease.

Nevertheless, movie directors, comic book artists (mostly from Marvel), and journalists continue to invoke #GamerGate as some sort of evil boogeyman.

(Thanks for the news tip Lyle)