In this era of social media and smart phones, spoilers for major TV cliffhangers generally aren't too hard to find so long as there are paparazzi to snap pics and post online, and the bigger the leaks, the happier the spoiler-loving fans are. Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim is decidedly not a fan of spoilers, and he doesn’t mince words explaining why.
Look, it’s not cool. Straight up. Honestly, I just look at these paparazzi people as like, they’re just spoiling it for everybody. They’re taking a big steaming dump on the work that all these people do…We have to be out in the world. We can’t produce the show just on our sound stage. But it does happen and it just sucks. I’ll just say it: shame on those people.
Marc Guggenheim’s vehemence in his reveal to THR that he holds paparazzi responsible for major set leaks isn’t too surprising. Arrow, after all, does rely an awful lot on “Gotcha!” twists designed to take us all by surprise, and Guggenheim can't possibly plan a season out thinking of paparazzi snapping pics to untwist his twists ahead of time.
That said, plenty of fans love a good spoiler, and it’s generally those fans who find out what’s happening ahead of the airings. Viewers who stay off of social media and don’t go looking for unofficial sneak peeks can usually avoid them, even when it comes to the veritable Flarrow-verse sieve of leaks. It’s a bummer for spoiler-phobes who may want to venture onto Facebook and Twitter, but a few paparazzi pics don’t necessarily give away the game to everybody, and what we see isn't always what we get. Guggenheim can definitely count on taking some Arrow fans by surprise.
Of course, Guggenheim is no stranger to dropping details of his own. The twist of Felicity ending up in a wheelchair may have hit the internet early thanks to paparazzi, but he himself spoiled that Felicity would be regaining the ability to walk when he tweeted a picture of Felicity standing at an altar. He even included a caption spoiling that she wasn’t standing in a dream sequence, hallucination, or flash forward. The picture definitely created buzz while the show was on a brief hiatus, so spoilers can work in a show’s favor on occasion.
Interestingly, a recent episode of Arrow actually used paparazzi as a major plot point when Team Arrow needed to get a secret out to set a trap for a villainess. Guggenheim may hate what the photographers can reveal from the set of Arrow, but they did come in handy for Team Arrow in this particular case.
On the whole, it’s likely that spoiler fans will continue to get their fix of Flarrow-verse plots ahead of time despite Marc Guggenheim's wishes. With Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow sharing stories and characters, there are way more chances for the paps to sneak some pics. Even Arrow needs to shoot in places other than dark abandoned warehouses, alleyways, and rooftops from time to time.
Arrow airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.