The quest by some fans to keep themselves spoiler-free before seeing Avengers: Endgame took a dark turn this week. According to NBC News, a 33-year-old Houston-area Domino’s Pizza employee named Justin Gregory Surface was issued a citation on a charge of assault last Sunday night (April 28) after punching a 24-year-old male co-worker in the chest.
Local police reported that the co-worker's crime was revealing a major plot point from Avengers: Endgame that occurs near the end of the film. Surface faces a misdemeanor fine of up to $500 for his actions.
While the story development itself was not revealed by NBC News, police officer Lisa Price said that she had the moment spoiled for her as well when she read her department's report on the incident. Asked if she still plans to see the movie, Price responded, "Of course I will!"
There have been some other anecdotal and fragmentary reports of people getting violent over the same issue; in one widely reported instance, moviegoers waiting on line to see the film in China reportedly beat up a man who came out of a previous screening and starting blurting out spoilers.
Let's be clear: people who see Avengers: Endgame — or any movie, for that matter — and deliberately attempt to spoil it for others are being immature at best and total jerks at worst.
But does that merit violence? This is still, after all, just a movie. And like abuse and threats to actors and other ill-advised actions, it arguably could take fan obsession to unhealthy places and even criminal consequences.
We all wish there was a way to avoid such situations entirely — especially since, as more and more people see the movie, there are bound to be more opportunities to spoil it (that includes online as well). But is violence really the answer? No, it's not. Weigh in with your thoughts and solutions below.