Most companies have embargos in place for big AAA releases. This is all common practice within the entertainment industry. If you break embargo expect the company to issue a takedown notice on your content or incur some sort of penalty where you’ll no longer appear on their PR lists. Well, in the case of Warner Bros., they’re not just going after people publishing major leaks of Mortal Kombat 11, they’re also going after people who are simply talking about the leaks from Mortal Kombat 11.
A lot of people noticed that one of the more popular videos about the game was hit with a copyright flag. The video was gaining a lot of traction after Jeremy Hambly from TheQuartering published it online.
Warner Brothers Just Manually Claimed My Video. pic.twitter.com/rzz5Mi9cmb
— TheQuartering (@TheQuartering) April 22, 2019
The video discussed Jackson Briggs’ ending from Mortal Kombat 11 where he gained the ability to rewrite history, and decided to prevent American slavery from happening because he didn’t have time to “wait for people to get woke”. He basically creates Wakanda from Black Panther, which a lot of people felt was completely out of character since Jax was an all-American soldier; a family man; and a constant defender of Earthrealm.
Most people figured a more sensible ending would have been saving his family, saving his country, or more importantly, saving his realm. Heck, after losing his arms in such a gruesome fashion, one would have thought he would have been a lot more keen to help disabled veterans and creating some kind of utopia for them. That would have made more sense. But instead NetherRealms decided to get woke, and a bunch of people criticized them for it. In response, Warner Bros., struck their videos and manually had the videos blocked worldwide.
Later TheQuartering did a video about the blocks, explaining what the process was for appealing, and how on Easter Sunday Warner Bros., was basically aiming to take down videos talking about the endings or showing any clips from the endings.
TheQuartering wasn’t the only one hit with the copyright hammer from Warner Bros.
There were dozens of other YouTubers hit as well, whether they were discussing the endings, showing the endings, or reviewing the endings.
YouTuber Nerdette’s Newstand discussed the topic as well, along with bringing up the fact that Jax’s “woke” ending wasn’t the only one dabbling in politics, but Shao Kahn gets in on the action as well. One of his intros sees him stepping in and saying “Let us make Outworld great again!”.
Now there is a bit of a spoiler here, Shao Kahn bites the dust to his daughter Kitana. He’s portrayed as someone of a pushover tyrant in Mortal Kombat 11. It’s pretty obvious that having him get defeated by a woman while spouting one of Trump’s lines is something someone at NetherRealm thought would be a good way to score points with the Social Justice crowd.
Some people liked his comments, others felt that it was biting too much into current day politics (and it’s true that using memes from right now will make Mortal Kombat 11 feel really dated in years to come), and some people just didn’t care. You can check out the clip featuring Shao Kahn making the Trump comment in the tweet below from KSIK.
— 𝓚𝓢𝓘𝓚 (@_KSIK_) April 22, 2019
But it doesn’t end there.
Warner Bros., has also been going on a video copyright strike fest against a number of YouTubers on Easter Sunday even when it had nothing to do with Mortal Kombat 11.
Vito Gesualdi got hit with almost a dozen ownership claims from Warner Bros, and had basically all of his appeals rejected.
Warner Bros. have now claimed ownership of almost a dozen of my videos, all of which used small film clips in a completely fair use manner. They have rejected most appeals.
Moving forward, I will not be covering any Warner products / films. I urge other YouTubers to do the same. pic.twitter.com/ruhYyWcE43
— Vito Gesualdi (@VitoGesualdi) April 21, 2019
It looks like someone at Warner Bros., went on a copyright spree on Sunday. Maybe they were having a bad day and decided to take it out on YouTubers?
While it’s understandable that they would want to take down full videos of various story related content from Mortal Kombat 11 ahead of the April 23rd release date, them going after commentary videos and transformative videos discussing the politics of the game is certainly a step too far.
Thankfully, after Warner Bros., little escapade, a bunch of other YouTubers began criticizing Jax’s ending in Mortal Kombat 11, including Liana Kerzner, who published a 10 minute video on the subject matter.
There was also a video from Smudboy who also took aim at NetherRealm’s writers for choosing to get woke with Jax’s ending in Mortal Kombat 11.
Smudboy did a quick five minute video talking about how NetherRealm’s political correctness has gone a step too far, especially given that Mortal Kombat was a brand built on political incorrectness.
All of this censorship, political correctness, de-sexualization of the females, and going after YouTubers surely won’t help the overall image of the game.
Warner Bros., also did NetherRealm no favors by attempting to silence criticism of the game’s woke elements, because all it’s going to do is put more eyes on the product in a less than auspicious way.
(Thanks for the news tip NoriyukiWorks)