Fans are urging Marvel employees to unionize amid director’s problematic joke

Taika Waititi, the director of this year’s box office hit Thor: love and thunder, starring Chris Hemsworth (Thor Odinson), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster/The Mighty Thor) and Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie) has come under fire for some allegedly insensitive comments when he and actress Tessa Thompson exchanged jokes about the CGI in a scene – and now some fans are calling for the VFX industry to unionize in response to his comments.

Chris Hemsworth (L) and Taika Waititi (R)
Photo credit: Marvel Studios

Previously, Inside the Magic reported on how Marvel fans came to Waititi’s defense amid much initial backlash — and now it seems so In response to his comments, fans are calling on VFX artists to unionize.

Twitter user @Uber_Kryptonian shared his thoughts:

Hopefully VFX artists who worked on Taika’s film will see this video and it will be the driving moment that will make them all unionize. To see the multimillionaire director making fun of your work, he and the producers forced you to relocate 5 times before the deadline with little pay is insane.

But what was in The video in question, really? Let’s break it down.

In the Vanity Fair video, Waititi and Thompson themselves break up a scene that Waititi himself says appears to be called “Taste the Rainbow.”

The scene takes place in the town hall of New Asgard, the new found home of the remaining expelled Asgardians who have moved to the Norwegian coast on Earth after their home planet and home kingdom of Asgard was destroyed Thor: Ragnarok (2017). Thompson’s character, the newly crowned monarch, King Valkyrie of New Asgard, engages in a conversation with Thor and the mighty Thor as they decide how to deal with the ever-looming threat of Gorr the Godslayer (Christian Bale).

Christian Bale as Gorr
Photo credit: Marvel Studios

Related: As bans continue, Disney is pulling the release of ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ entirely from across the country

Waititi himself makes a self-deprecating appearance in the video, asking Thompson about his own character (whom he played in the film), the rocking alien Korg in the scene, “okay, does that look real?” to which Thompson replies, “this particular one Recording, no, actually (laughs).”

Waititi then looks embarrassed and Thompson adds: “That’s not really true, is it? If you look closely?” – and Waititi broods and talks about his character Korg again: “Hmm, do I need to be bluer?”

The two point to the (clearly quite real) actors in the scene, namely Hemsworth as Thor and Portman as Jane Foster, and ask each other if they “look real”, Thompson even points to himself in the scene as Valkyrie before she concludes that “none of them look real”.

Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie
Photo credit: Marvel Studios

Given these comments, fans are reacting to Waititi’s “jokes” in myriad ways – some with even more jokes of their own:

[text in image, of a Subway sandwich]

(Taika) be like

(“TL&T VFX”) sucks

(My brother in Christ) you made the (movie).

Other fans like @NotBoogey echoed:

That’s crazy. Taika is trying very hard to get everyone to dislike him this week and it’s working. Well, maybe the CGI would look better and more polished if you paid your artists more and didn’t rush them. You must return to 2 films a year.

That might conflate the Marvel director a bit with Marvel Studios itself, as noted by user @LukasAndArt1. They attempt to add nuance to the discussion by highlighting the fact that certain aspects of the production may not have been in Waititi’s hands, and speak of a broader problem within the VFX industry:

That sucks, but did he even have control over the VFX? With how many people are in control of these things, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them are his first time seeing it.

Which doesn’t mean I’m defending anyone. But it sounds like the VFX is a systemic issue.

However, a more rounded critique by Gordon B. White offers:

I think Taika Waititi’s recent promo bits, where he rips the VFX work on the new Thor or says director’s cuts suck, are a good example of when self-mockery *doesn’t* work – ie when the product that’s obsolete is, a team effort was . Then it just sounds kind of jerky.

Also See: ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ Defies Critics, MCU Film Posts a Stunning $302M in Opening Weekend

With recent reports that Marvel Studios has likely deliberately limited the runtime as well Thor: Love and Thunder – Perhaps all of the recent criticism of Waititi is partly unfounded, as it appears that Marvel Studios is pulling much of the strings behind the end result of these Marvel Cinematic Universe films.

However, Waititi’s flippant tone is definitely everything to him.

ThorValkyrie
Credit: Marvel Studio

Given how fond Marvel Studios is of giving its creators unrealistic deadlines, it’s possible that their current relationship with VFX artists is the result of something more systematic – as Marvel Studios makes payment decisions, guides directors and actors, and also manages them Deadlines – that would result in a VFX crunch.

Ultimately, we’ll just have to see if Marvel Studios or Taika Waititi apologize or even talk about this uproar.

What do you think of Taika Waititi’s comments? Is the anger justified? What are your thoughts on unionization in the VFX industry? Share your thoughts below!

Thor: Love and Thunder is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and premiered in theaters on July 8, 2022.

It features Chris Hemsworth (Thor Odinson), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster aka Mighty Thor), Tessa Thompson (King Valkyrie)Christian Bale (Gorr the God Butcher), Chris Pratt (Peter Quill), Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Jaimie Alexander (Lady Sif), Sean Gunn (Kraglin Obfonteri) and Russell Crowe (Zeus).

The fourth installment in the Thor franchise, Thor: Love and Thunder, is directed by Taika Waititi and will see Thor Odinson dating the new reigning monarch of New Asgard, King Valkyrie, along with his ex-girlfriend Dr. Joins together Jane Foster, who is now the reformed Hammer Mjolnir and became the mighty Thor. Together they try to bring down Gorr the God Butcher, who is on a quest to rid the universe of all divine beings, believing that “all gods must die”.

Other MCU Phase 4 films on the horizon include Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premiering November 11, 2022, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania on February 17, 2023, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 on May 5, 2023 The Disney+ streaming service is also currently offering MCU Phase Four TV shows like the critically acclaimed Ms. Marvel (2022) and Moon Knight (2022).

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