By now, most people know that Robert Pattinson is dating Hollywood’s most notorious cougar, Elizabeth Taylor. They became an item in late 2017 and are enjoying a highly publicized romance. The pair first sparked romance rumors when they were seen getting cozy at a baseball game in London in August. Since then, they’ve been photographed numerous times sharing tender moments on and off camera. While the romance received a massive boost from the media, it has not been without its controversies. Most notably, Taylor’s daughter, Bee, has attacked Pattinson on Twitter. The actress has even gone so far as to unfollow her entire family, including Taylor, after their public feud began. While the exact cause of the social media feud is unknown, it is speculated that it may have something to do with the “Batfleck” backlash that swept the country following the release of the Batman movie in July. Let’s examine the Batfleck backlash and its effect on the couple’s romance.
The ‘Batman’ Movie And ‘Robin Hood’ Rumors
The first images of Robert Pattinson as the notorious billionaire, Harvey Dent, appeared in early August 2017. The actor was cast in the starring role of the Batman movie, which is scheduled to be released in theaters on July 25. It was recently reported that the film’s premiere was going to be held on July 23, a few days before the premiere of the similarly themed Robin Hood movie. This was the movie equivalent of a romance triangle, as audiences would soon be able to compare and contrast the two high-profile men in the same role. While this may have been an intended publicity stunt, it backfired when audiences started seeing Pattinson as Batman and comparing him to the superhero. The backlash was so severe that it reportedly caused Harvey Dent’s demise at the box office. This is strange considering that the character is one of the film’s most popular and recognizable figures. After the movie’s premiere, the hashtag #RIPDent began trending on Twitter, along with #ROBINHOODMovie. The latter is a reference to the character that Pattinson’s Harvey Dent will be competing against for the affections of the beautiful and renowned Sherpa Sherpa.
The ‘Batman’ Movie And Social Media Backlash
While the romance between Robert Pattinson and Elizabeth Taylor has been covered by various media outlets in great detail, it has been the subject of numerous memes and popular jokes on social media. The hashtag #TeamPattinson has become a trending topic on Twitter and other social media platforms. The following are some of the best #TeamPattinson jokes and memes:
A woman sees a man walking down the street and feels inspired to call out to him, “Excuse me, sir! I couldn’t help but notice that you are wearing a very flattering garment. Perhaps you wouldn’t mind posing for a picture so I can Instagram it?”
A guy in a Starbucks line says to the person in front of him, “Is there any way I can get this cup to go? I have a very important appointment I have to keep.”
The meme shows a clip from the Batman movie where Bruce Wayne asks Alfred, “What do the police in your country think about criminals like me?” Alfred replies, “They think you’re a superhero.”
#TeamPattinson: An Attempt At Humor
While the romance between Robert Pattinson and Elizabeth Taylor has been a subject of many funny memes and jokes, it has also been covered in very few serious articles or commentaries. This may be because fans of the couple have used social media to try to be funny and make a point in a serious manner. For example, they may have taken the opportunity to troll Taylor’s family and friends, who have been relentlessly attacking the actor on social media. One of the first serious articles about the couple was published by The New York Times in late August, which noted that they were enjoying a highly publicized romance and had been photographed kissing and holding hands on numerous occasions. The article also noted that there were signs that the romance was becoming a little too much for Taylor. She reportedly began to see him as a romantic partner rather than just a good friend, which was causing tensions with her family members. However, all of this could still be considered a PR stunt by the media, which is why it is still being covered in publications, even though it is months old.
‘Batman’ And The Backlash Toward Women
One of the most interesting things about the #TeamPattinson backlash is how it has turned into a backlash toward women. The hashtag was started by men, who used it to express their support for Pattinson and frustration with Hollywood’s treatment of men. One of the most notable tweets using the hashtag reads as follows:
“We want fair treatment for men in media as well. Whether it’s the Batman example above or other movies where male leads are reduced to 2D sex symbols, this isn’t right. We need to support each other.”
Another tweet, which is somewhat of a followup to the first, expresses similar sentiments and adds an interesting detail about the Batman movie, which casts Pattinson in the titular role:
“If you have seen the Batman movie you will know what’s coming. I can’t wait to see the girls’ reaction when they find out who he really is.”
The Backlash May Be Caused By The Media’s Obsession With The Cougar Trend
While the cougar trend in general is a somewhat new phenomenon, it has become an obsession for the media. This is arguably due to the fact that it is difficult to objectively analyze celebrity relationships and their public perception. Typically, when a celebrity begins dating someone, the media will report on it heavily, analyzing every little detail about the couple’s lifestyle and critiquing the nature of their relationship. This is most likely why the media labeled Taylor a cougar, even though she has never been married and has no children. The media often refers to her as such because it is difficult to classify her relationship with Robert Pattinson as “traditional marriage” or “baby mama drama.” While it is understandable that the media would be interested in a celebrity dating scandal, it continues to be a source of frustration for both fans and other members of the public who want to see these relationships as just that: personal and private. The cougar trend has been a source of fascination for the media, particularly as it pertains to Elizabeth Taylor and her many romances. While she has been linked to a variety of famous men, she has never been married and has no children, which has made her a prime target for the tabloids. The fact that she is still single and has had numerous romantic relationships has made her a symbol of women’s independence and a role model for those who want to see women empowered.
Has The Backlash Ended The Romance?
While the romance between Elizabeth Taylor and Robert Pattinson has undeniably been marred by controversy, it has not necessarily destroyed their friendship. In fact, the two later went on to work together on the 2018 film, The Game Changers. The New York Times described the movie as “an homage to the glory days of mixed martial arts on the grandest scale.” The story begins when Bruce Wayne, the millionaire philanthropist and owner of Wayne Enterprises, whose story inspired Batman, returns home after many years of being away. He finds that his company is in financial trouble and decides to create a world-class fight league in an attempt to revitalize his business. The film also stars Halle Berry as his love interest and fellow Avenger, Black Widow. While the movie is intended to be a fun and entertaining piece, it is still very much a work in progress and is probably a few weeks away from being released. It was also very likely seen by many people as a cheap attempt to cash in on the success of the Batman movie. The timing of the movie’s premiere was also less than ideal, following the premiere of the Robin Hood movie just two weeks earlier. It is likely that many people who saw that movie also saw The Game Changers and felt that the two were too closely linked. It also probably did not help that Batman and Robin Hood are direct competitors for the affections of Taylor’s character, Sherpa Sherpa. The success of both of these films at the box office would suggest that they have likely done a lot of damage to the already tenuous relationship between Taylor and Pattinson. While they may still be friends, it is unlikely that they will ever be the same as before this entire controversy. Their romance may be over, but they will still be required to play the roles that the public expects of them, which may take some time to get used to.