Detroit MI – In an internal audit of nationwide inventories for Chevy used cars General Motors unearthed a major issue demanding their immediate attention; an issue that has only been exacerbated by the state of online troll culture. The issue, of course, is slow-moving inventory on less popular models – a burden that’s somewhat to be expected, based on dwindling interest in economy coupes and sedans. The resulting dilemma: to redesign, or to discontinue altogether. And while GM might be leaning toward the latter, the online community is demanding more accountability for (what they consider to be) “unforgivable design flaws.”
But they’re hardly alone. With the power of social media behind them, consumers have more power than ever before. For example, despite inarguable flaws in the finished product(s) fan backlash has been credited with fiscal losses experienced by both Star Wars and DC Comics films. Dissatisfaction over Season 8 of ‘Game of Thrones’ led to an online petition demanding that HBO reshoot it to fall closer in line with subjective opinion. And dissent over the actions of YouTuber James Charles has all but cost him his entire audience, and financial security. In other words, talk matters.
Last month, the almost ambush-style release of the movie trailer for ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ was met with the unbridled excitement of entire generations of gamers, before leaving that same audience cold due to some questionable design choices. Revealing their CGI interpretation (or misinterpretation) of the iconic blue speedster, Paramount was immediately criticized for the ill-fitting combination of undersized eyes, mouthful of human teeth, and awkwardly elongated legs. This was a lot of things, but Sonic the Hedgehog it was not. And with ‘Detective Pikachu’ having proven that a realistic GCI interpretation of a beloved cartoon character was now possible, fans weren’t going to accept anything less. And of course, they took immediately to social media to scold the film’s powers-that-be.
Needless to say, the resulting backlash was so intense, that director Jeff Fowler felt compelled to respond via Twitter stating:
And in a strange coincidence of timing – which also proves that people always need something to bitch about – the online community has waged war on General Motors / Chevrolet demanding a redesign of yet-another Sonic (yes, the Chevy Sonic). Of course, GM had announced the discontinuation of the Chevy Sonic earlier this year – after years of retirement rumors – so GM is understandably confused by the sudden spike in passionate interest. Why now?
The Lemon had the opportunity to speak to Stan Parker, GM’s former Vice President of Social Media, in the hopes of hearing his thoughts on the unexpected outage. And those thoughts didn’t take long to present themselves.
“I blame that damn hedgehog movie,” he blurted out matter-of-factly, while his young sons polished the glass on an antique gun cabinet behind him. “That director was so quick to pander to an audience of socially-retarded nerds that everyone expects companies to do the same whenever they’re not happy. Look, I hated how Scooby Doo looked when they made those movies twenty years ago, but you didn’t hear me bitching about it. Why? Because I was too busy having sex. But nowadays, it’s just easier to hide behind a keyboard and stir shit up. Maybe if that Sonic director had held out a little bit longer, that mob of tunnel-visioned basement dwellers wouldn’t have set their sights elsewhere. They didn’t even make an effort to redirect their rage! They just found another Sonic and lumbered towards it like the pasty, mindless white walkers that they are!”
(Editorial Note: Stan Parker was released from employment by General Motors in early 2018, resulting from (i) peer complaints of ‘unusual rage directed at the cafeteria salad bar’ and (ii) ’general lack of actual interest in social media’)
GM has yet to address the complaints formally, and there are few expectations that they actually will. The Sonic is, after all, dead. So if you’re interested in complaining about a Sonic – you might want to focus on the hedgehog – because General Motors isn’t about to Tweet #GottaFixItFast any time soon.