Sunday, June 5, 2022

No, There's No Racist Backlash Against Star Wars

No, There's No Racist Backlash Against Star Wars

May the hoax be with you

Every so often, there’s a moral panic about an alleged backlash against a black person appearing in a genre film. Or an Asian, or a woman, or a transgender individual, or whichever designated victim it is this time.

I first noticed it when John Boyega appeared in the trailer for The Force Awakens. Now it’s happening with this new Obi-Wan show on Disney+.

Here’s the pattern:

  1. Handful of trolls spew racist crap online

  2. Lots and lots and lots of people yell at handful of trolls

  3. Topic trends on Twitter because everyone has publicly congratulated themselves on not being racist

And then, because a bunch of people are patting themselves on the back for standing up to a few anonymous trolls, it becomes a thing. News outlets write stories about it. The studio milks it for outrage clicks.

They’re all using the Jedi Mind Trick to make you think there’s some huge wave of racism against Star Wars. It’s caca del toro.

(And it’s funny to hear about “the most popular Disney+ show of all time.” Disney+ was launched on November 12, 2019. Two and a half years ago.)

Are they knowingly lying? I can’t dismiss that possibility, because after all, these are show-business people we’re talking about. They could be amplifying a few trolls as a cynical publicity stunt. Or maybe they’re just misguided but well-meaning. Either way, social media has distorted our view of the world. It makes us assume the worst about each other.

I mean, is America more racist today than it was when this happened?

Lando Calrissian is the coolest MF in the galaxy. He’s been around since 1980. Forty-two years ago! Before most of the people pretending this is a problem were even born. Back then, did George Lucas or Mark Hamill feel the need to put out a statement defending Billy Dee Williams?

No. The two main changes to American society since then: 1) Now there’s Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and such, and 2) Star Wars is played out.

Do racists say stupid crap in 2022? Sure. A lot of them work for CNN and MSNBC, but that’s another story. But is there some sort of racist backlash against Star Wars? No. Most people wouldn’t even know about any of this if Disney hadn’t put a spotlight on it.

Maybe calling their own fans racists will improve the quality of Disney’s output? It’s worth a shot!

I have absolutely no interest in Star Wars lore anymore. The Mandalorian was so good for almost two seasons because it didn’t bore us with the whole Skywalker saga, but Disney learned all the wrong lessons from that show’s success. Now there’s a glut of Star Wars junk and I’m just sick of the whole thing. Why would I care what Obi-Wan was going between Episodes III and IV? Go Force yourself!

Poor Alec Guinness.

If you had told me when I saw the first movie at nine years old that one day I’d be sick of the whole thing, I’d have thought you were crazy. But LucasFilm and now Disney have spent decades making me wish Star Wars would go away.

Guess that makes a racist now? So be it.

By the way, where was Disney when people were screaming hate at Gina Carano? They just hung her out to dry. Guess it’s different when an actor thinks for herself.

As for Moses Ingram: I haven’t watched the Obi-Wan show and wasn’t familiar with her name, but IMDb says she played Lady Macduff in Joel Cohen’s recent attempt at Macbeth. I thought the movie was okay and don’t remember any particular performance standing out as terrible, so I’m sure she was fine. Macbeth is like pizza. Even when it’s not very good, it’s still pretty good.

And even that wasn’t the first time black actors have been cast in that play. Orson Welles did an all-black production of Macbeth all the way back in 1936. None of this is groundbreaking. Pretending 2022 America is irredeemably racist is just boring.

Speaking of accusations of racism, it’s now racist to criticize the White House press secretary:

This is, of course, a lie. Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. has been in Washington since Watergate. Fifty years next January. He does not know what it feels like to be an average American, and nobody believes he does. Least of all Karine Jean-Pierre.

They really are trying to do Bill Clinton’s “I feel your pain” schtick. It’s amazing. First Biden picks your pocket, and then he tries to commiserate with you about being broke.

It’s also racist to scoff at this:

She did see that part of his speech, because it was the first thing Biden said. He lied about his past, and now she’s lying about his lie. She’s gonna fit right in at this White House.

I’m a free speech guy, and what you’re about to hear from this fat, stupid YouTuber is free speech:

This guy sucks, but it’s obviously a joke.

That said, the double standard is undeniable. If a YouTuber spewed this kind of garbage about any Democrat politician, he’d be banned from all the things. If he talked about killing Gretchen Whitmer or Kathy Hochul, he’d be held up as an example of Trumpism destroying America. It would be national news. Brian Stelter’s fat head would turn all the colors of the rainbow.

None of that will happen to this idiot, though. It’s good to be a Democrat.

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