Star Wars: Aftermath author and Hyperion writer Chuck Wendig says he's been fired from Marvel’s upcoming Star Wars: Shadow of Vader comic and an unannounced Star Wars book, according to a thread on Wendig’s personal Twitter.
When reached by SYFY WIRE, Wendig confirmed that this was the first conversation he’d had with anyone at Marvel about his social media presence or his use of language online. “LFL [Lucasfilm Ltd.] has always been supportive, so they were not surprised by my Twitter,” Wendig tells SYFY WIRE. “Though it would be shocking to me that anybody would be surprised by my Twitter, that it’s political and vulgar, same as my blog.” He has written for his blog, Terribleminds, since 2000.
In a series of tweets posted Friday, Wendig — in describing the route to his termination from the company — explained that when he wrote his Aftermath series, he faced serious backlash and harassment from a subset of the Star Wars community due to his introduction of the gay protagonist Sinjir Rath Velus. However, as Wendig spoke up and out against this campaign, he claims he was also told by Lucasfilm that he had internal support:
Likening the targeted response to that faced by The Last Jedi star Kelly Marie Tran, Wendig explained that harassment was not new to the franchise:
However, the corporate response to his behavior online evolved. After Shadow of Vader was announced and Wendig comported himself as normal on social media, things apparently changed without his knowing:
Wendig claims he was fired for “the negativity and vulgarity that my tweets bring,” according to his tweet. “Too much politics, too much vulgarity, too much negativity on my part.”
(Here is an example from Wendig’s Twitter where he expresses personal political opinions with a heaping helping of F-bombs.)
That sort of rhetoric led to what he calls a “Marvel decision” to fire him from the books, though he said he had "no idea" if this was a decision made directly by Marvel editor Mark Paniccia or if it came from higher up the corporate ladder.
This firing is the latest in a series of job losses for creators that irked an energetic and angry subsection of the internet, as Wendig himself mentions James Gunn and others fired for riling up "the wasp's nest of asterisk-gate."
Marvel confirmed to SYFY WIRE that the company and Wendig were parting ways but had no further comment.