In recent years, few fandoms have been as toxic and hateful as the Star Wars and Game of Thrones "communities," so when the co-creators of the latter franchise realized they would potentially face continued harassment from fans, one source claimed to The Hollywood Reporter that neither David Benioff nor D.B. Weiss were interested in enduring that harassment, contributing to their decision to walk away from their planned Star Wars trilogy. In their official statement announcing their departure from the planned films, the pair cited their busy schedule was the motivating factor, though this new report hinted that multiple factors, including a toxic fandom, contributed to that decision.
For years, Game of Thrones was the biggest TV series in the world, accumulating millions of passionate fans around the world. Since the debut of the series' final seasons, those passions from some fans turned into anger, which viewers were happy to share all across social media. In the months since the final episodes of the series aired, Benioff and Weiss have avoided making public appearances related to the show, which includes canceling their planned appearance at San Diego Comic-Con, with their discussion during a panel over the weekend resulting in them earning even more hatred hurled their way.
"Who wants to go through that again? Not them," one source noted to the outlet. "This was in the 'Life’s Too Short' category."
While many members of the Game of Thrones cast have shared their support for the showrunners, that didn't stop fans from starting petitions asking for the final season to get a remake or to have the pair fired from Lucasfilm. Clearly a number of factors led towards the pair stepping away, but we can't blame them for not wanting to subject themselves to years of harassment if their decisions didn't line up with those of the most vocal fans.
Among the various pop culture fandoms, a very vocal minority of Star Wars fans are considered to be some of the most hateful, a trend which dates back decades.
After a 15-year wait after the end of the original trilogy of films, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace landed in theaters and immediately sparked a backlash against creator George Lucas for the decisions he made with the films. The backlash would continue with each subsequent film, with some fans still being quick to express their anger about the films all these years later.
In 2012, Lucas himself noted that fan toxicity contributed to why he sold his company to Disney.
“Why would I make any more,” Lucas shared with The New York Times in 2012 of the Star Wars films, “when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?”
Some would think Disney delivering audiences new films would be a positive thing, yet audiences who haven't agreed with the various decisions made by the filmmakers resulting in them passionately and regularly expressing their hatred directly to those responsible for the films. Stars Daisy Ridley and Kelly Marie Tran both left social media following the sexist and racist harassment they endured from some "fans," while Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson still attempts to engage with fans, despite how often they inundate him with horrible remarks.
Following the spread of the harassment from fans, Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best took to social media to admit that he had previously contemplated suicide after enduring endless amounts of harassment due to the prequel trilogy.
Stay tuned for details on the future of the Star Wars franchise.
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