Mob Fans Vs Casting of Fifty Shades of Grey and Batman

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By Anshu Shrivastava | October 15, 2013 6:11 PM EST

The day the casting of "Fifty Shades of Grey" and Batman was announced, the world of Internet was not a peaceful place. There was a pandemonium on the social networking sites. When Warner Bros. announced that Ben Affleck has been chosen to play the next Batman, more than two dozen petitions came-up asking the studio to re-consider its decision. The casting of Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson in "Fifty Shades of Grey" also met the same fate.         

The online forums and social networking sites are full of angry fans. Under the umbrella of the anonymity that the Internet provides, they act like street-mobs if a scene in their favourite show does not turn out as they had imagined, or their favourite actor is not casted in a movie. The dislike and hatred is expressed, instantly as if they had been plotting and waiting to unleash havoc if an announcement is not to their liking.        

One of the petitions against the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman on Change.org: "His (Affleck) acting skill is not even close to being believable as Bruce Wayne and he won't do the role justice. He's not built, nor is he intimidating enough for the role of Batman. His portrayal of Daredevil was atrocious and he's not remotely close to an action star. Please find someone else."

There are reports that Hunnam may have backed out of "Fifty Shades of Grey" because of the fans' backlash. At the time of his casting, one of the petitions had threatened: "We can do anything guys, anything." The petition on Change.org that wants the casting of Matt Bomer and Alexis Bledel as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele on 50 Shades has more than 87 thousand signatures.

Scott Mendelson calls it "Fandom Entitlement Syndrome" in his article, published in Forbes. "They (Fans) take to the Internet to absolutely demand that they get their way as a matter of moral principle, damn the business logistics or any other logical obstacles in their way," he writes.

The fans are powerful and social networking sites and online forums provide them the platform to express their opposition. But, they are fast turning into unruly mobs and there is no way to control them. 

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