'Star Wars' Comic Writer Says Marvel Fired Him for Social Media Behavior

Chuck Wendig - Getty - H 2018
Suzi Pratt/Getty
Chuck Wendig says he was removed from the 'Shadow of Vader' series, with two issues left unwritten, over the "negativity and vulgarity" his tweets bring.

Chuck Wendig, the New York Times best-selling author of the Star Wars: Aftermath series of novels, has been fired by Marvel Entertainment, he said on Twitter Friday. That leaves the future of numerous previously announced Star Wars projects, that Wendig was attached to, uncertain as a result.

In a series of tweets, Wendig — who was working on both the five-issue Shadow of Vader miniseries and an additional, currently unannounced, Star Wars series for the publisher — revealed that he had been fired by Marvel in the middle of his work on the titles because, in his words, "of the negativity and vulgarity that my tweets bring. Seriously, that’s what Mark [Paniccia], the editor said. It was too much vulgarity, too much negativity on my part."

Previously, Wendig had written Hyperion and an adaptation of Star Wars: The Force Awakens for Marvel.

Wendig has been outspoken about his liberal political views on Twitter. On Oct. 7, he drew the attention of well-known conservative personalities, such as Ben Shapiro and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza, with a series of tweets surrounding the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who had been accused of sexual assault. In one tweet, which he later deleted because he said it had become a "funnel for harassment," he wrote, "Winter is coming, you callous fucknecks, you prolapsed assholes, you grotesque monsters, you racists and rapists and wretched abusers, you vengeful petty horrors."

Wendig's firing comes three months after Marvel parent company Disney fired James Gunn as director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 over old, offensive tweets that had been resurfaced by conservative personalities.

Wendig is no stranger to controversy within Star Wars fandom, with the writer being targeted by a vocal minority after introducing one of the franchise’s first canonically gay characters in his 2015 novel, Star Wars: Aftermath. His outspoken response to that pushback — calling those that complained "the shitty, oppressive, totalitarian Empire" — combined with his openness about discussing real-world politics on social media, made him a lightning rod within the more conservative elements of the property’s fan base.

Marvel’s removal of Wendig comes a month after the publisher canceled The Vision, a six-issue miniseries, two months ahead of launch, with the creative team — which included another best-selling novelist, Chelsea Cain — only getting a few days’ notice and little explanation as to why, beyond a change in publishing plans surrounding the characters being used in the series. Notably, Cain is as vocal about her politics, and equally visible as a target for right-wing trolls on social media, as Wendig — although that was not given as a reason for the series’ surprise cancellation.

Marvel Entertainment declined to comment.