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Fans Launch Petition To Remove Ezra Miller From Upcoming Films

Ezra Miller's professional future could be in big trouble.

After a shocking video recently surfaced which appeared to show the actor choking a female fan before slamming her to the ground, a petition has surfaced calling for Miller (who uses they/them pronouns) to be dumped from their upcoming film projects. The petition follows a massive outpouring of similar sentiments from fans on social media.

First, a little bit of background. The video in question was posted by a patron at a bar in Reykjavik, Iceland, which Miller is known to frequent. It shows a woman, who is apparently a friend of the person who shot the video, approaching Miller in a mock fighting stance (almost dancing, really) with a smile on her face. Miller can be clearly heard saying, "Oh, you want to fight? That's what you want to do?" before grabbing the woman by the throat and dragging her to the ground as bystanders attempt to defuse the situation. The clip then cuts abruptly.

Free of any context as to what happened before and after the incident, many fans assumed that it must be some kind of joke — but this, apparently, was not the case. A source from the bar told Variety that there had indeed been an altercation involving Miller at the bar after some fans got "pushy." The source said that after the choking incident, Miller — who was angry and combative — was physically removed from the bar by staff, although they don't appear to have been charged with any crime.

In the aftermath of the incident, there has been extreme radio silence from both Miller and Warner Bros., the studio which is producing both of the actor's major upcoming projects: a solo vehicle centered on DC comics superhero the Flash, and the third installment of the Fantastic Beasts series, set in author J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World.

The petition was started by an ex-fan of Ezra Miller

The Change.org petition, which as of this writing has only garnered about 250 signatures, was started by former Miller fan Danzel Samuel, and is directed at Warner Bros. and DC Films, along with several studio executives. "[The character of] Flash was my favorite part of the Justice League movie. However, this incident has damaged my views on [Miller]," Samuel wrote, understandably opining that the incident "reflects badly on Ezra Miller's character." Samuel went on to write, "As a responsible film studio, Warner Bros. should take the most appropriate action towards Ezra by removing [them] for all current projects. This includes the upcoming Flash movie and Fantastic Beasts 3. The studio must make a stand that violence in all forms should not be tolerated. Let this be [Miller's] punishment."

Assuming that the video isn't some kind of hoax or prank — and, considering that Miller has had nary a word to say about it in the several days since it surfaced, we sincerely doubt that it is — we find this to be a reasonable stance to take. In the interest of fairness, though, we should stress that all we have to go on in assessing what went down is the video itself, and the comments of Variety's anonymous source. Sure, those things taken together don't exactly paint a rosy picture — but until we've actually heard from the involved parties, we're inclined not to rush to judgment.

How will Warner Bros. respond to the Ezra Miller backlash?

If it indeed turns out that the incident took place as it appears on its face, and that Ezra Miller responded to a fan's playful entreaty by choke-slamming her to the ground, then it's safe to say that Warner Bros. will be faced with a couple difficult decisions. When it comes to Fantastic Beasts — in which Miller portrays Credence Barebone, an "Obscurial" and pawn in the feud between Gellert Grindelwald and Albus Dumbledore — it seems like it'd be a reasonably simple thing to just recast the role. In the case of the Flash solo flick, though, the choices are numerous — and making the right call could be a difficult proposition for the studio.

There's a pretty solid chance that the flick wouldn't even be in the pipeline if not for Miller, who has endlessly championed the notion of a solo vehicle for the Scarlet Speedster, and even took a crack at writing the screenplay at one point. A number of would-be directors have come and gone from the project, with Andy Muschietti (of the It movies) currently at the helm. 

Warner Bros. and DC Films might choose to roll the dice and keep Miller on, as their take on Barry Allen was one of the most well-received aspects of the train wreck that was Justice League. Or, the studios might tap Grant Gustin — who portrays the Flash in the CW's Arrowverse — to take over. Failing that, the role might be recast with a different actor — or, as has recently been rumored, the studios might wash their hands of the whole endeavor and pull the plug on the Flash movie entirely.

We simply don't know, and so far, Warner Bros. isn't saying. We'll keep our eyes peeled for any announcements, and we'll keep you informed.