A promo for a new episode of the DC Universe original series Harley Quinn, which has received appraisal from TCN, includes a nameless character wearing a shirt reading “Release The Snyder Cut”. It quickly becomes clear that the character has controversial and arrogant opinions regarding DC films that are delivered in an obnoxious voice. His distaste for “virtue signaling” and DC entertainment featuring Gotham characters besides Batman are clearly references to stereotypes held up to members of the “Release The Snyder Cut” movement. This campaign, started on social media, calls for the release of an alternate version of 2017’s Justice League that matches the original cinematic vision of its director Zack Snyder. Check out the clip below:
It should be noted that Harley Quinn is a show that does not hold back in the comedy department, considering its TV-MA rating. This is after all, simply comedy and objectively harmless. The series has not previously mentioned the movement, but the position that this clip puts Snyder’s supporters in is short-sighted and disappointing.
While there have been instances of extremist behaviors in the Snyder Cut campaign, which accompanies every movement, the director’s followers have the best intentions. The group has had multiple collaborations with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to help raise over $100,000 for those affected by suicide and its effects thanks to custom merch (some designed by Snyder himself) on Custom Ink. Snyder, whose own daughter passed away from suicide, has repeatedly voiced his appreciation these charitable efforts.
While it appears that a good amount DCEU fans have taken the comedy schtick with a sense of light-heartedness, the movement’s opposition has taken advantage of it. In fact, one Twitter user, who has vocally spoken out against the Snyder Cut campaign, has gone as far as to recreate the depicted t-shirt. However, the profits of their shirt do not have the same charitable intentions as the movement’s. It is an unfortunate attempt to rip off fans during a time when most of the world can agree that what we need is hope, not cynicism.
These fans are fighting for a film they were as excited for as many other comic book fans were when Marvel Studios’ The Avengers (2012) debuted. Further disappointment has come from the fact that Snyder’s supporters will never get to see their Avengers: Endgame (2019) equivalent due to Warner Bros. Pictures steering from the direction of DC movies away from Snyder’s shared universe started by Man of Steel (2013). While not all the details are known, a clear rivalry between Snyder and Warner Bros. Pictures has led to the future of DC involving more standalone projects like Joker (2019).
A majority of the fans so poorly portrayed in this Harley Quinn commercial simply fight for art they love. A DC television series promo leaning on stereotypes does nothing but stir the pot instead of providing the quality comedy the show has provided its loyal fans. As TCN has previously reported, the “Snyder Cut” (or Zack Snyder’s Justice League, as the director himself has dubbed) was being discussed at Warner Bros. before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down most of Hollywood. Once the pandemic is brought down to a reasonable level of control, talks between Snyder and the studio will likely continue.
The intentions of attaching a “Release The Snyder Cut” shirt to a poorly-portrayed fan in this Harley Quinn series are ultimately unknown. What’s even more confusing is how the other character on screen, portrayed as the voice of reason, is wearing a shirt with a similarly controversial shirt reading “The Last Jedi Is Not Canon”.
Narratives against the Snyder Cut will continue to exist, even when the fateful day the movement has been waiting for indeed arrives. This changes nothing as Snyder’s supporters continue to grow in number, volume, and heart despite three years of opposition. In the words of Mr. Lex Luthor, “a bell cannot be unrung.”
Harley Quinn was created by Justin Hapern, Dean Lorey, and Patrick Schumaker. The animated series features vocal performances from Kaley Cuoco, Lake Bell, and Alan Tudyk. Season 2 is currently streaming exclusively on DC Universe.