The Avengers assembled this week, but not to smite any earth-shattering foe. Unless you think Donald Trump is as evil as Ultron, that is.
“Avengers” director Joss Whedon leaned hard on his celebrity Rolodex to help drag Hillary Clinton across the finish line Nov. 8.
The director’s organization, Save the Day, will encourage left-leaning groups to vote for Hillary through a series of comedy videos featuring A-listers including Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson and Neil Patrick Harris.
Whedon has founded the pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC Save the Day and donated $1 million toward helping her beat Donald Trump in the presidential election. Instead of going on the defensive, Whedon is focusing on encouraging people to vote through a series of star-studded online videos.
The video likely stings some conservatives who thought Downey, Jr. gently leaned to the right. He still might, but he’s clearly not aboard the Trump Train.
Whedon previously helped Democrats by making a humorous video attacking Mitt Romney during the 2012 election cycle.
His new video comes after the other superhero group got into the political act. Earlier this month, several “Justice League” stars gathered to protest a pipeline project.
Ben Affleck, Ray Fisher, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, and Ezra Miller shared a video lending their support to Rezpect Our Water, an organization protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
“As a gang of earth defenders, we want to send a big shoutout to the Oceti Sakowin and those who stand with them in opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline,” Miller says in the video.
Up until now, superhero franchises have mostly avoided ideological arguments on screen. Even “Captain America: Civil War,” this year’s smash pitting superhero against superhero, struck political themes without being partisan.
It’s one of many reasons the superhero film genre is thriving.
What happens now? Will right-leaning audiences start turning away from these franchises? No one predicts the genre will collapse, but we’ve seen plenty of examples of how ideological fights can dampen box office results.
See, “Ghostbusters” 2016 for Exhibit A.
And if you think a juggernaut like the superhero genre can’t be stopped, consider this year’s NFL ratings. Two weeks into the season, we’re seeing a slump in viewership. Think that has no connection to players refusing to stand for the National Anthem?
The Avengers and their celebrity peers have every right to speak out in any manner they choose. Let’s hope they understand movie goers can do the same.