Culture Clips: The Surprisingly Long History of Spoilers

30
endgame culture clips

Ah, spoilers.

Fans of hit franchises and movies with twists hate ’em. And in the internet-connected age in which we live, avoiding them—whether we’re talking about a hit movie like Avengers: Endgame or a hit TV show like HBO’s Game of Thrones—is harder than ever. (Though, that said, The Verge has offered this handy guide to avoiding those ruinous surprises without logging off the web completely.)

Yet spoiled endings aren’t just a 21st-century problem. Or even one that began as movies proliferated in the 20th century. No, if you’re interested in the origins of this cultural concern, you’ve got to go back to at least 1860, when controversy swirled about whether or not critics should divulge the ending of the plot-heavy novel The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins.

Still, one imagines that beatings and threats weren’t involved with spoiler controversies back then, unlike today. A man was allegedly beaten up in Hong Kong after shouting out spoilers to fans still waiting in line to see Endgame. Back on this side of the pond, in Friendswood, Texas, one Domino’s Pizza employee reportedly attacked another for leaking details of the film.

Then we have the case of Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy, who posted some spoilery stuff to Twitter. The response there? Frustrated fans unloaded on the NFL star as only Twitter users can, in all-cap, multiple exclamation-point rage: ” I WANT EVERY DEFENSIVE PLAYER IN THE NFL TO DESTROY LESEAN MCCOY EVERY GAME NEXT SEASON!!! I EXPECT NOTHING LESS!!!” wrote user For The Love of.

And in the wake of Avengers: Endgame’s record-breaking opening (and it was even larger than we first reported), fans dissected and analyzed virtually every aspect of the story. They included a Harvard philosopher unpacking the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe’s moral philosophy lessons, to conversations about how the movie deals with the subject of grief, to what one important actor in the film thought about its ending, to whether said ending was emotionally satisfying or a ruinous travesty.

And, of course, given the film’s unprecedented $1.2 billion worldwide bow, speculation is percolating about whether Endgame has a shot at dethroning Avatar as the biggest moneymaker in movie history.

Almost as buzzworthy as that film this week were various conversations about Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones, which focused on the Battle of Winterfell. One prevailing sentiment: The scene was dark. As in, too dark for fans to see what was going on, criticism that actually prompted the show’s cinematographer, Fabian Wagner, to weigh in—unapologetically, I should add. Meanwhile, this week’s episode once again set new viewership records, attracting slightly more viewers (17.8 million) than this season’s premiere did two weeks ago (17.4 million).

But while lots of folks were tuning in to watch the Night King’s much-dreaded arrival or headed to theaters to see the Avengers grapple once more with Thanos, it seems fewer folks than ever headed out to the ballgame. Sure, it’s early in the baseball season, and it’s been unseasonably chilly over much of the country. Still, some are concerned with the falling numbers of fans at many Major League Baseball games so far this season. Perhaps if they added explosions, dragons or CGI …

Elsewhere this week, several celebrity moms opened up about the challenges of balancing their high-profile careers and raising children. Singer Pink (whose latest album, Hurts 2B Human, dropped last Friday) talked with Carson Daly on Today about motherhood, saying,

I am completely changed since being a mom. I’m much more open, I’m much more accepting of myself, I’m much more thoughtful. I think about the world more, and what we’re leaving for these kids, and the direction we’re headed in. And so I guess it changes your music.

In separate interviews this week, the 39-year-old singer also talked about why she’s no longer going to post pics of her children on social media, as well as opening up about the trauma of having multiple miscarriages and how that’s affected her emotionally.  

Another popular singer, Carrie Underwood, talked with Today’s Natalie Morales this week about trying to juggle her singing career with two children. She said, “I feel like moms put a lot of pressure on themselves to have it all together and know everything and plan for everything and you just … it’s impossible.” Like Pink, Underwood also discussed having had three miscarriages in 2017 and 2018.

Two other actresses, meanwhile, have been speaking out about LGBTQ issues. Captain Marvel actress Brie Larson is pushing Disney to “move faster” with regard to representing greater gender and sexual diversity in its films. And Kristen Stewart, who’s moved from her Twilight fame to edgier indie roles, wants Hollywood to focus more on “queer” stories.

Finally this week, what happens to a generation that films virtually everything that happens to them? How does that influence their memories and the way that they process important events in their past? New York Times contributor Jeremy Engle ponders those questions in his provocative piece, “Are Digital Memories Ruining Our Real Ones?”

Who wrote this?

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Phoebe Chartowich 6 months ago
No, Brie, Disney should slow down with any LGBT+ content. In fact, they should stop all together!
Anonymous 6 months ago
But I like Lettuce Bacon Gouda Tomato Plus Extra sandwiches!

-Evan
Anonymous 6 months ago
Sorry Phoebe, but it's going to happen one way or another. The Eternals movie is going to have a main character be gay sadly.

Posted By A-non-Mouse
Chuck Anziulewicz 6 months ago
Gay people exist. They get married. You work with them. Your kids will have Gay friends. It's part of life. No point whitewashing everything.
Karl The Klown 6 months ago
I agree with Chuck. There is no point in pretending that gays don't exist. They certainly do. And to pretend that it is any worse than the vast swaths of shows and movies that contain sinful heterosexual behavior is disingenuous. 
Chuck Anziulewicz 6 months ago
I mean, it's not as though superheroes have always been presented as completely neuter, asexual beings. If you're going to be realistic, you just have to assume that SOME of them might be Gay.
Anonymous 6 months ago
I agree with both of you. We have to accept that gayness is going to present in our lives, we shouldn't hate the LGBTQ+ community, we should pray for them. Doesn't it say in the Bible to love your enemies and pray for those who persucute you?

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Phoebe Chartowich 6 months ago
Yes, they do exist and people ARE going to feature movies/TV shows/books, etc. w/ LGBT+ characters in them (of course they are, it's become the radical idea of the 21st century), I'm just saying that I don't WANT them to.
Also, again yes, we must love our enemies (Matt. 5:44)
Anonymous 6 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Well, in the words of Electronic Arts, “Accept it or don’t buy it.”

Guess I’ll be in the latter group.
Anonymous 6 months ago
I've never seen Game of Thrones but I also don't get HBO, Cinemax, Showtime or any other premium channels. I used to get all that stuff back in the 90s with my old cable provider, but most of the time they showed nothing but smut like Dream On and Talk Sex, and based on what I've read about Game of Thrones that hasn't changed one bit.
Chuck Anziulewicz 6 months ago
Many years ago, when "The Sixth Sense" was in theaters, I was listening to the radio in my car, and one reviewer mentioned a big plot twist in the film. And I couldn't un-hear it. So I go to the theater to see the film, and less than 15 minutes into the movie I think, "Oh, I get it." It didn't exactly spoil the film, because I got to see how the audience was constantly being misdirected, so to hear the audience gasps during the denouement was rather satisfying. Still, I wish movie reviewers wouldn't even mention plot twists. And these days if there's a movie I really plan on seeing, I avoid the reviews like the plague. When I went to see "Get Out," I had no idea what kind of story I was in for, and that made the film immensely enjoyable.
Karl The Klown 6 months ago
My pastor ruined the ending of The Sixth Sense during a Easter sermon in 2016. Granted, at that point, you would assume most would know the ending 
Anonymous 6 months ago
lol.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
charitysplace 6 months ago
I think it's kind of lame to ruin someone else's experience by sharing spoilers. That being said, I looked them up before watching Game of a Thrones on Sunday to find out if the only character I still like survived. 
Anonymous 6 months ago
I agree. If you share spoilers without asking, you are just not thinking. If someone asks for them or goes looking for them, it's your own fault.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse

*whispers to  @Karl The Klown* We have found the one like!

Anonymous 6 months ago
Lol. 

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous 6 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

ENDGAME SPOILERS (but not really)

Since Fortnite was in Endgame, it's a shame they didn't put this scene in the film.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOyntPDp_Ec
Anonymous 6 months ago
Totally agree

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous 6 months ago
Funny, we get all worked up in the comment section about spoilers, then PI decides, hey why not? XD

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Karl The Klown 6 months ago
While everyone was watching Endgame and GOT, I was sitting in my basement wearing my pjs playing video games.....
I need a life
Anonymous 6 months ago
Well, I didn't watch GOT either...

We need to take a survey, if you watch GOT like the comment. If you don't, don't like the comment (if there was a dislike button I would say click that one, but PI doesn't have one).

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Karl The Klown 6 months ago
This is a Christian site, meaning that everyone watches GOT, but won't admit it 
Anonymous 6 months ago
one person here likes GOT! get the torches and pitchforks!!!-
Duke of Popcorn
Karl The Klown 6 months ago
Calm down Duke. I know what you watch, most of which isn't what people would consider "clean, wholesome entertainment"
Anonymous 6 months ago
Lol. Exactly  @Karl The Klown 

Duke of Popcorn: LOL!!!

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Anonymous 6 months ago
Hi Thor, sorry you didn't go for the head earlier.

-Evan
Anonymous 6 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

That's hilarious, Evan!
Anonymous 6 months ago
Thanks! Still disappointed he never used his axe to shave his beard of sadness after he got back in the game...

-Evan
Anonymous 6 months ago
HE'S BACK!!!!

We most know, what was your thoughts on Endgame FCG?

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
Karl The Klown 6 months ago
Long time no see FCG. You missed a lot of lames trying to spoil Endgame on here