The Force is with the Internet as it (im)patiently awaits the release of the first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Not everyone is looking forward to the chance to revisit a galaxy far, far away, however; a social media movement is asking fans to #BoycottStarWarsVII.
The hashtag, which started appearing on Twitter Sunday night, expresses objection to the fact that The Force Awakensfeatures lead characters who aren’t white males, with its users accusing the movie of pushing a sinister multicultural agenda.
“#BoycottStarWarsVII because it is anti-white propaganda promoting #whitegenocide,” read one tweet from an account calling itself “End Cultural Marxism.” (A subsequent tweet from the same account read “A friend in LA said #StarWarsVII is basically ‘Deray in Space,’ ” — a reference to civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson. “Jewish activist JJ Abrams is an anti-white nut.”)
Another Twitter account, calling itself “Captain Confederacy,” similarly griped that “SJWs [Social Justice Warriors] complain about White artists ‘misappropriating’ culture created by blacks but then celebrate a non-White Star Wars.” Yet another complaint read that the movie should be boycotted “because it’s nothing more than a social justice propaganda piece that alienates it’s core audience of young white males.”
A Twitter account named after the hashtag has been set up to promote the hate-filled hashtag and retweet comments posted using it.
Ignoring the fact that, while hardly a bastion of cultural diversity, even the earliest Star Wars movies featured leads of color (James Earl Jones voiced Darth Vader through the entire original trilogy, and Billy Dee Williams‘s Lando Calrissian joined the series with the second installment, The Empire Strikes Back), it should be noted that this isn’t the first time that the more closed-minded Star Wars fans have been vocal about increased representation of minorities in the franchise; author Chuck Wendig responded to some homophobic fans upset at his inclusion of an openly gay Imperial officer in the novel Star Wars: Aftermathby imploring them to “stop being the Empire.” (Wendig has also responded to the current situation.)
On social media, other Star Wars fans have responded in defense of the new movie:
Lunatic #BoycottStarWarsVII racists, weren’t you serving drinks in Mos Eisley cantina? (“We don’t serve their kind here.”)
— Darryn M. Briggs (@darryn_briggs) October 19, 2015
I’m going to #BoycottStarWarsVII because I am a babyman who’s terrified of the world around me
— Vid Icarus (@vid_icarus) October 19, 2015
#BoycottStarWarsVII folks, Lemme get this straight: Wookies, Ewoks & Droids are fine but a BLACK PERSON is a problem? Go home.You’re Drunk.
— Audra McDonald (@AudraEqualityMc) October 19, 2015