Let me run a scenario by you and you can play it out in your head after. Let’s pretend for a moment that a young up-and-coming minority actor got cast in a major comic book role. Let’s pretend that SZA is cast for an upcoming Marvel project for the famous X-Men character Dazzler. The project is going to have a musical bend and with hip-hop absolutely dominating the culture and landscape right now, Marvel opts to re-create Dazzler for the modern era. SZA is tabbed for the role and everything is great. By the way, if anyone at Marvel likes where I’m going with this at all, hit up my people and we can make magic happen.
So, SZA — a young, black and muslim woman — is cast and the movie is filmed and everything appears to be good. A story comes about her hitting on younger women earlier in her career, but it was ten years ago so everyone kinda understands it was different and that it’s something they need to watch out for and be aware of going forward. No big deal, SZA is still everyone’s Dazzler and the project is exciting to fans who can’t wait to see her tear shit up as the new Dazzler. Besides, it’s 2022 and SZA only did this back in 2009. Move on, people.
It’s now March of 2023 and post-production is underway on the Dazzler film. Everything is moving along according to plan, when suddenly Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige gets word that SZA has been in a physical incident at a club. Text reports indicate there’s video of her attacking someone going around, all in all it’s a bad situation for the potential star. But it’s a bar and people often attack celebrities, so Feige wants to wait and see what SZA and the press have to say about the full story.
It’s now six months later and SZA drops a Tik Tok threatening the Proud Boys. She tells them, “If y’all wanna shoot people or die, why not just kill yourselves. We’ll even do it for you if that’s what you really want.” The video is certainly odd, but nobody can make heads or tails of it because SZA hasn’t met the Proud Boys and this doesn’t appear to be prompted by anything. Feige isn’t sure what the move here is, but he knows it’s time to have a talk with his star and ask if there’s anything Marvel can do for her.
A month later, SZA is back in the news only this time she’s fully stepped it up a notch. They went to Dance Dance Revolution hotspot and then got agitated. She began forcing everyone off the dance pad and then began a verbal tirade of several individuals, pointing at them to make sure they knew she was talking about them. An arrest follows along with disorderly conduct and harassment charges. SZA claims she was the victim but the video evidence doesn’t really support their case and it looks just plain bad at best.
A month after this, SZA goes back to the same city where they had the incident at the DDR Club and this time they throw a large decoration at a woman and hit them in the head after being told they have to leave. The story only gets worse. It turns out that SZA was at a private residence and after the homeowners had allowed them to stay there for a little. It wasn’t working out and they asked SZA to leave and she responded by hitting one of them in the head with elaborate and heavy decorations from around their home. SZA is arrested for second-degree assault and released.
After this it comes out that parents of young boys had to get a protection order against SZA because she was caught texting them in an extremely inappropriate way and had used violence and intimidation to prevent this young boy from exposing their inappropriate relationship. Soon after this, another mother and a young son are granted an order of protection against SZA after they threatened his mother with a gun and began caressing his body and hips, telling the child how much they loved their clothing and style. The child explains to the judge that they felt terrified, uncomfortable, and really scared.
Do I need to keep going? Can you picture a studio allowing this movie to be released? Can you imagine a scenario where a black actor of no real import was given this many opportunities amid this many insane stories coming out seemingly month after month, week after week. We haven’t even gotten to the felony that the REAL subject of this article was charged with this week. But if you can’t even imagine a new black and Muslim actor being given this many chances to get their shit together BEFORE they committed a felony, then what are the odds that you’re going to change your mind after?
And this is where we find ourselves with Ezra Miller and their repeated run-ins with the law, but somehow and someway, The Flash is still slated for release while Warner Discovery CEO David Zaslav literally just announced they were canceling an already filmed and ready-to-be released Latina-centered Batgirl because their objective is build the brand and grow characters, but he emphasized his primary duty was to “protect the DC Brand.”
Interesting that they feel the need to protect the brand just an “okay-to-mediocre Batgirl film,” but not from a potential predator with at least one felony, likely many more, and a slew of legal and mental problems going back more than a year. I mean, we got bullshit quotes and legalese on why they were canceling Batgirl, but Ezra Miller is over here with their own Consequence Film column on a timeline of their not-little legal issues, including the aforementioned felony.
Maybe someone should protect the DC brand from CEOs who protect white privilege and reject representation.
By the way, my apology to the wonderful SZA. She did nothing wrong and is an absolute doll. She would crush it as Dazzler and she wouldn’t come with even one one-millionth of the issues that Ezra Miller seems to have. I just wanted to try an illustrate that there is no way a young and fairly unestablished minority actor would be given as many passes — nor should they on these behaviors — but here we have a perfectly great Flash that everyone loves from the TV show, one that knows how to behave properly and he had to take a backseat for this shitshow.
Another day in protecting the brand.