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San Diego Comic-Con can be a grueling experience. For the most part, it is a series of consecutive, long days surrounded by throngs of pop-culture fanatics who are packing rooms in and around the Convention Center, trying to absorb the latest movie and TV news. But still, it’s a comic-book convention. Most would pay to be there (and many do). On its worst day, I might call Comic-Con a chore. Jesse Eisenberg went several steps beyond that.
The actor was in San Diego helping to promote Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, where he plays uber-villain Lex Luthor. Now that the Con has subsided, Eisenberg reflected on his time in San Diego, telling the AP:
It is like being screamed at by thousands of people. I don't know what the experience is throughout history, probably some kind of genocide. I can't think of anything that's equivalent."
Really? You can’t think of ANYTHING that’s equivalent? Because I’m not sure the last time Jesse Eisenberg looked up "Genocide" in a dictionary, but it’s defined as "the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation." So yeah, that’s a terrible choice of words to use when trying to describe a press event, no matter how chaotic it may seem.
Let’s try, for a moment, to give Jesse Eisenberg the benefit of the doubt. He did partake in a Hall H panel, meaning he played to the biggest room in San Diego’s downtown convention center. The room holds roughly 6,500 fans, and I was in there for the Batman v Superman portion of the panel. People were amped, and the footage Zack Snyder brought had a large chunk of the audience on its feet, pleading to see it again. If anything, they were killing the Batman v Superman cast with kindness.
No, what this really sounds like is an actor trying to make a joke about the demanding nature and the pressure-cooker atmosphere of San Diego Comic-Con, and coming off bad in the process. There’s no way that anything relating to the promotion of a blockbuster movie should EVER be compared to genocide. No one is trying to censor Jesse Eisenberg’s speech, or tell him that he has to put on a happy face and embrace everything that comes with the process of being at Comic-Con. It’s rough. We all get it. But genocide? I’m certain that Eisenberg, an actor who has proven himself to be intelligent and media savvy in multiple interviews, regrets his word choice. Or maybe he’s just so Method that he was speaking from Lex Luthor’s point of view. If he spins it that way, I’ll applaud him.