Now that we know a “special” subset of racist nerds have their underoos in a bunch over the new Star Wars VII and plan to boycott it, which will surely cost Disney tens of dollars in lost revenue, I thought it might be a good idea to go back through history and see what other movies dunces have tried to boycott totally, and hopelessly without success because such plans are, by their nature, stupid and ill-informed. Let’s look!
50 Shades of Grey
Now here’s a movie that should have been boycotted just for the sake of common sense and a love of good story telling. Instead it was boycotted by domestic violence groups in another misguided protest that didn’t quite get what it was saying.
You can hate 50 Shades all you like, and believe me I already do because piss poor story telling, terrible acting and boring sex should appeal to no one, but to hate it on for glamorizing violence towards women was misguided. The nature of the relationship in the movie was consensual and sexual and included BDSM, something that is shown in study after study to be extremely popular in American sexuality. Violence against women is an issue yes, but to confuse it with sex that may also contain aggressive acts is to obfuscate an issue and shame people who just happen to be kinky.
Back to the racists, because there’s clearly just a huge nerd sub culture over at the Klan, I guess. The protest against Thor stems from the movie’s casting of Idris Elba as Heimdall. As any good racist knows, that particular pretend person who has never and will never exist is white as the driven snow!
If you ever have a chance to peruse the box office numbers for Marvel and Disney, you’ll notice that, despite their constant lack of racist audiences, they’re still doing OK financially and probably plans for Thor 3 are still a go.
Pro gay groups organized a protest against Ender’s Game, though apparently they didn’t need to because no one really went to see that movie and it just barely made its budget back, which in Hollywood terms is a big, fat bomb.
The problem for Ender wasn’t the movie or even the cast, but the author of the source material. Turns out author Orson Scott Card is a huge anti-gay marriage type of guy who has openly referred to homosexuality as a genetic mistake. So that doesn’t go over well with a lot of people. Not to mention his belief gay marriage will somehow destroy democracy. You don’t even need to support gay marriage to not understand what the hell that statement means, it’s like comparing apples and gay marriage.
In the context of this film, Robert Downey Jr.’s character would have called this protest retarded. Basically a coalition of groups representing people with mental disabilities sought to protest Tropic Thunder over the way it portrayed the mentally disabled. And while you can sympathize with the groups and how they view the word “retard” as hate speech, what they missed entirely was the point. Tropic Thunder was thick, deep, atrocious satire. It was lambasting actors like Sean Penn and Tom hanks who play mentally disabled characters as though it were a badge of acting pride and who do so to get awards, as though the greatest challenge an actor might face in their quest for genius is not being a genius.
The movie wasn’t mocking the mentally disabled, it was mocking the people who exploit them for money and game. And the protest didn’t seem to work – had you even heard of it before? Not to mention how well the movie did and, frankly, how awesome it is.