COLUMNS

Listen to Me Listen to Me

It Is Time To Boycott Marvel

Who knew Armie Hammer was not the hero we deserved, but the hero we needed?

Last week the actor tweeted: “Hey, while everyone seems to be on this Equinox thing, it might be a good time to mention that one of Trump’s largest financial contributors is the chairman of Marvel Entertainment (Isaac Perlmutter)….. jussayin.”

Some context.

Armie Hammer is an actor probably best known for The Social Network, Call Me by Your Name, or the unfortunate Lone Ranger reboot. With the never-ending carousel of superhero movies that make up much of our media landscape, Hammer here is very likely sacrificing a role down the line by tweeting the above message. I respect him for that.

“This Equinox thing” began when Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills (also even more likely sacrificing a role down the line) tweeted about Dolphins owner Steve Ross hosting a fundraiser for the reelection of Donald Trump at his house. Stills, referencing Ross’ non-profit organization, wrote: “You can’t have a non-profit with this mission statement then open your doors to Trump.”

Ross is also the owner of health clubs Equinox Fitness and SoulCycle. Influential celebrities began publicly canceling their memberships to these clubs and pressed others to do so as well when Ross’ support for the president was shared. As of this writing, I can’t find numbers on how this actually affected the businesses, but I can suppose there was a significant hit.

And that brings us to Isaac Perlmutter, your friendly neighborhood eminently influential fascist frothing fartstain.

Ike Perlmutter is the billionaire chairman of Marvel Entertainment, the managing body of their TV shows and comic book publishing. Perlmutter and his wife, Laura, donated millions to Trump’s initial 2016 campaign, another million to Trump’s veteran fundraiser (which was then funneled into Trump’s personal foundation, then who knows?), and hundreds of thousands to Trump’s 2020 reelection on top of that. According to ProPublica, Perlmutter is one of the three current “shadow rulers” of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, seemingly pushing “their influence in ways that could benefit their private interests” and attempting to (what else?) privatize veteran health care. Perlmutter is also a close friend of the president and supposedly they dine together frequently in Mar-a-Lago, including sharing Thanksgiving meals with, according to Vanity Fair, “Don King, Fabio, […] and Richard Nixon’s grandson, Christopher.” This is a dining room where room-temp gravy is constantly spilling on treaties.

But before all of this moneyed sway recently came to light, Perlmutter was already the best at what he did. And what he did, wasn’t very nice.

According to the Financial Times, it was Perlmutter’s decision to replace Terrence Howard with Don Cheadle in Iron Man 2 where Perlmutter then allegedly stated that no one would notice because all black people “look the same.” Under Perlmutter’s watch, several people working under him have allegedly left their positions, including three black female executives who all lawyered up to pursue financial settlements. According once again to the Financial Times, a separate woman alleged Perlmutter “made threatening remarks to her.” She filed a complaint and changed positions. All of this led to Perlmutter being ousted in 2015 from the creative and budgetary aspects of Marvel Studios movies, but nothing leads me to believe that he isn’t still making bank off of them.

Perlmutter is also involved in several lawsuits and Florida-Rich controversies that include, according to the Hollywood Reporter, allegedly attempting to get now-infamous Trump “fixer” Michael Cohen’s help in a lawsuit where Perlmutter is getting sued for initiating an anonymous smear campaign against a man who, again allegedly, is trying to steal Perlmutter’s DNA. The Hollywood Reporter writes that this “is a complicated dispute that started with a fight over tennis courts.” In 2018, Perlmutter was also named in a trial that involved him, according to the New York Daily News, allegedly trading tickets to Marvel premieres for a gun permit.

Perlmutter used to be a mythic eccentric recluse before 2016. There was only one photograph of him on record from the ’80s and he supposedly showed up to the Iron Man premiere with a full Groucho disguise to hide his identity from the cameras. But as soon as Trump and his repugnant grifting goon squad took office, Perlmutter is everywhere. How telling is that? A man who once went to great lengths to shield himself from the media attention is now very comfortable visibly throwing money and influence toward a presidency without a moral bottom.

Is going to the comic book store and picking up a new issue of Absolute Carnage worth this? Tuning into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D? Buying a Gwenpool hoodie? Purchasing a ticket to the next Avengers movie? And the next one? And the next one? That money is being used to support Trump’s directives, like ripping families apart, now and in the future. It’s probably past time to stop letting Perlmutter and Marvel off the hook for their performative wokeness every 6 months too. Is it possible to find representation outside Squirrel Girl and Miles Morales since they have direct connections to the “very fine people on both sides” train of thought? There are bonds here that are undeniable and ever-growing. Look at the money given to Trump as recent as this past April: Marvel Entertainment and Marvel Brands LLC, front and center. Can we comic readers cut the ties of nostalgia to make sure that generations to come have a planet to feel nostalgic about?

Marvel doesn’t care about you, period. But it shouldn’t be too much to ask that they stop actively trying to make the world a more hideous and callous place.

It’s time to hit Marvel’s reputation. It’s time to hit Perlmutter’s wallet.

It’s time to boycott Marvel.

FILED UNDER: ,

20 Responses to It Is Time To Boycott Marvel

  1. Harley Robertson says:

    Lmao trump 2020

  2. Admirable article. One thought: anyone doing this might consider spending any dollars saved on Marvel stuff at your local store on other comics…I think the direct market could actually implode in a few years, which would have a horrible impact on every aspect of comics, even at its most underground and artistic reaches. But the most hardly hit would be store owners.

  3. TheCentrist says:

    Soooo, if I’m understanding this correctly, conservatives want to boycott Marvel due to SJW content/writers/takeover (their words), and now the left want to boycott because of Trump support? Marvel just can’t win it seems…

  4. Keith Hamilton says:

    I was expecting a boycott based on the merits of the products from Marvel. Perhaps something related to comics. Regardless, this is interesting. This is the problem with a corporation making profit from those who produce for them.

  5. Jason Wood says:

    This is silly.

    Ike Perlmutter doesn’t own Marvel. Disney owns Marvel. You could boycott Marvel, Star Wars, The Simpsons, and everything else Disney related for the rest of your life and Ike Perlmutter still has his billions and will continue to support the Cheetoh-in-Chief. That ship has sailed.

    Meanwhile, Disney is a massive global corporation. I’m sure their executive team has a wide range of political viewpoints within it, ranging from hardcore conservatives to uber liberals.

    Bob Iger, Disney’s CEO, is an outspoken Progressive. So should conservatives who love Trump ALSO boycott Disney?

    The vast majority of people at Marvel, from editorial to creative, are progressive.

    There’s not a large corporation on the planet that doesn’t have conservatives and Trump supporters within it. Name a company you give money to and I assure you there are executives, shareholders, or key employees that support Trump or other GOP endeavors.

    Where does it end? Should liberals boycott the Guardians of the Galaxy films because Chris Pratt is a conservative? Should conservatives boycott the Captain America films because Chris Evans is an outspoken progressive?

  6. Salgood Sam says:

    I don’t think a boycott of marvel is going to hurt Perlmutter, out of all the cash they make he’s getting a fraction, and most of what he gets will be given even if their market share tanks. Meanwhile there are a lot of not horrible people who would be hurt more directly by all that.

    Frankly I don’t buy any marvel stuff really, so i’ve not got much to boycott or not, but just saying.

    But I do think bringing up Perlmutter often and making it uncomfortable for Disney to keep him around could get him canned. Course he’ll still win, he undoubtedly has a clause or six that guarantee him a nice payout if they cut him loose. But Disney is the entity I’d go after, the big fish that signs his check, not the subsidiary of Marvel they all milk. And you don’t need to boycott them, just point out often and loudly what one of their people are doing with their spare time.

  7. DANIEL E MARTINEZ says:

    Wooooow. Reaching hard for content?

  8. William Ngo says:

    As you said yourself, Ike Perlmutter deals with Marvel Television (which actually happens to be very progressive). He has nothing to do with the movies because he doesn’t get along with Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios. It was only after racist, sexist Ike Perlmutter was demoted that Kevin Feige was able to give us Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and more diversity in the other Marvel movies.

  9. Kiki says:

    So you want to ruin other people’s lives because one man is a trump supporter. Honestly it’s just sad

  10. Knight62 says:

    Why is it always someone saying what “WE” should do because of how THEY feel about something? RJ feel free to boycott Marvel. Let us know how that works for you and what you have changed by doing so. Thanks.

  11. J. Bencomo says:

    I’m sure this boycott on a dying mass medium that has as much of a chance of working at all as these boycotts usually do will do a great job at shaking the foundations themselves of Donald Trump and all those multi-mega-billionaries supporting him.

    Regardless, don’t worry. I’m sure Trump will lose the next elections and be replaced by a far more left-friendly president who will openly let Russia and China walk all over them, as opposed to Trump, who just puts on a scrappy face while still letting Russia and China walk over him, and by extension the rest of the world.

  12. Kit says:

    Knight62 making the case against collective action: “it doesn’t work if you DON’T take action, so why bother taking action.”

  13. Frankwhitd says:

    I’m glad you shined light on this. Yes, I will consider where my money goes from now on regarding Marvel. The rest of you can shove your opinion up your arses.

  14. Matthew says:

    There are any number of valid reasons to boycott marvel (a few of which i subscribe to). What any one man does with his money is none of my business.

  15. Dave Knott says:

    In related news… Marvel asked Art Spiegelman to write an introduction to a collection of their golden age comics, but then rejected it because he called Trump a modern-day Red Skull.
    Spiegelman responded by suggesting that Marvel’s reaction could be due to their implicit connection to Trump via Ike Perlmutter.
    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/aug/16/art-spiegelmans-marvel-essay-refused-publication-for-orange-skull-trump-dig

  16. Elgin Carver says:

    Your error is the same that the things Marvel publishes and films makes. The reading and viewing publis is just as divided as the voting public and those that get catered to are happy and the others are indisposed to buy more. Goes for you guys here as well.

  17. Peter says:

    Another reason to hate Perlmutter: dicking around with veterans’ lives just because he’s a Mar-a-Lago member.

    https://www.citizensforethics.org/mar-a-lago-members-va-influence/

  18. Russ Maheras says:

    Boycotts are a silly whack-a-mole exercise that makes people feel good because they are doing “something.” In reality, if a far-left or far-right fanatic were to boycott every single person or institution they have a political disagreement with, they’d have no food, water, electricity, clothes, smart phone, or anything else.

    Face it, RJ — The food on your table may very well have been trucked to your local grocery store by some guy wearing a MAGA hat. Your doctor, or the airline pilot that flew you across the country may vote Republican. Ditto for your auto mechanic, electric company technician, or the cop that keeps you safe at night.

    And seriously… you think Ike Perlmutter is a fascist? When you say over-the-top stuff like that, it instantly kills the credibility of your subsequent arguments.

    That said, while I still enjoy most of the current Marvel movies, I stopped buying Marvel comics a long time ago — and not in response to some politically motivated soap-boxer’s over-the-top exhortations. I stopped buying them because, for me, they were simply not all that enjoyable to read anymore. Instead, I read and collect select classic Marvel back issues. Pound-for-pound, they were more exciting, fun, and they had none of the long, boring, drawn-out padding that is the norm in comics today.

  19. @HollywoodTRILL says:

    All these dumbasses that don’t even know how a real boycott actually works. Take a seat and find you a good YouTube video. NOBODY is immune to the affects if a boycott of done CORRECTLY.

  20. Heather says:

    Oh, NOW it’s time. I don’t disagree but there were ample reasons to boycott Marvel decades ago.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *