Crisis on Earth-X

The annual Arrow-verse crossover on The CW is arguably one of the most talked about television events, but this year’s crossover is getting more heated criticism than praise, which could come as a surprise for some.

It’s not often the four superhero series (Supergirl, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Arrow) come together to produce an epic battle between good and evil, but it’s become a regular event to draw viewers from every show and boost the ratings, all while tackling interconnected plots between characters from different series. However, as “Crisis on Earth-X” is crossing Earths and delivering Nazi versions of our beloved characters from Earth-X, an Earth where the Nazis won WWII, it’s alienating fans in a way never done before… which is hard to do, considering how many women and POC they’ve alienated by killing off characters.

The Nazis

The biggest problem fans are having with the crossover isn’t anything slight, like Felicity’s presence and the attention on her and Oliver when it’s supposed to be about Barry and Iris’ wedding, but rather the fact that Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg, who developed this story, would go down this path and create a Nazi-centric story when the current world is already having to fight off Nazis. Perhaps it was a way for them to connect this fictional world to the current political landscape, but it was done terribly and none of the current issues facing the world were addressed, so it’s doubtful that was their plan.

Crisis on Earth-X

Creating a world where the Nazis won, and their plan to create an Aryan civilization met, is disastrously disrespectful to POC and LGBT fans, but especially to Jewish fans. It’s insensitive to create this world, which was unnecessary to begin with, and have them attempt to, not only invade the world, but push their philosophy onto the people of Earth-1 without acknowledgements from Jewish characters like Felicity Smoak, or Barry Allen (whose mother was Jewish before her death).

https://twitter.com/claire_malast/status/935320765863550977

The fact remains that, in order to have a world full of Nazis, their mission throughout WWII would have succeeded, and many lives today would not have come to be. It’s a world not only founded on genocide and oppression, but where they’ve made these superheroes, who are supposed to stand for all that is good and right in the world, into Nazis. They’re admitting that, in some alternate reality, Oliver and Kara took the side of some of the most deadly people in history, and joined their forces to become high-ranking officers of the “Fatherland.”

Creating a world (or using the idea from the comics) where the Nazis won WWII, yet are easily defeated in less than a week by these superheroes, is damaging to history and to those who don’t know much about WWII. As we get further away from it, the education level on the subject dramatically drops, so some people (kids, especially) are learning about WWII for the first time now, and watching this show is damaging to the thought process about the war.

The Impact… Or Lack Thereof

Not only is the choice to create the Nazis gross and unnecessary, it’s also about how the writing team executed this. Having the main heroes say, “I hate Nazis,” is not enough to process this terrible moment. Felicity Smoak is Jewish, yet where is her reaction to the Nazis? You may not like Felicity, but given the storyline she should be one of the main focuses because this impacts her and her heritage the most of anyone else on the show.

We watched Felicity focused on for a good part of the crossover, yet not once was there a mention about how she felt about the Nazis or about Earth-X where the world lost to Hitler. Felicity wouldn’t have ever been born on this Earth, because her ancestors would have perished before she was ever thought of, much less conceived.

While the choice to make Nazis was unnecessary for the story overall, not including the real-life impact of such a decision as this is disgusting. The writers are actively alienating fans by not addressing this with any character; Sara and Alex would be persecuted because of their sexualities, Iris and Jax (and Amaya, Zari, Diggle, Curtis, and René, and so on) would be persecuted because of their race, while Felicity would be because of her religion and background.

It would be a different reaction from the fans if the writers at least had the decency to address the horror of learning about Earth-X and what has happened on that Earth, but there was none. It was just, “I hate Nazis.”

So, uh, I hate Nazis, I guess. What do you think of Crisis on Earth-X? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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