The Corner


The Cultural Divide on Spoiler Discussions

At this moment, Rogue One isn’t just a film; it’s a quick summary of the effort to get GOP electors to vote for a president besides Donald Trump.

This weekend, contemplating exactly when I could write about the new Star Wars film’s surprises and plot points, I asked Facebook users when it was okay to write about the film and include spoilers. Quite a few folks answered January!

I tend to agree with the assessment that if you don’t see a film the opening weekend, you assume the risk of encountering spoilers. Rogue One was showing in 4,157 theaters! It’s not like it was hard to find! Just how many Star Wars fans didn’t see the movie this weekend? If it’s unreasonable to discuss spoilers today, then what about Friday? Surely, after the Christmas holiday is more than fair, right?

The comedy show Portlandia offered an exaggerated version of trying to discuss streaming-on-demand television shows in an era where everyone is on edge about spoilers. 

It would be nice if we could work out a general cultural rule for spoilers. A week? Two weeks? At what point is the person discussing the film at fault, and when is the person who wishes to remain “spoiler-free” imposing an unreasonable expectation? As one of my readers pointed out, “I still get yelled at for saying Rosebud was a sled. Some will always shout ‘Too Soon!’”

I suppose I should have put in “SPOILER WARNING FOR 1941’s ‘CITIZEN KANE’” before that sentence.