If you don’t like Disney’s Star Wars sequel trilogy, that’s probably just because you’re “alt-right.”
According to Wikipedia, the “alt-right” consists of “a loosely connected far-right, white nationalist movement.”
(Wow. That’s pretty harsh. Especially if you’re not white.)
Oh, and you’re probably being brainwashed by a handful of YouTubers and websites that are an arm’s throw from “alt-right” luminaries like Steven Bannon, Milo Yiannopoulos and Alex Jones.
I know. It’s a lot to unpack. But gamers have been dealing with these smears for years, even from “reputable” news outlets like The New York Times.
So Disney’s Star Wars Sequel Trilogy was basically sabotaged by some grand right-wing conspiracy and you, dear Last Jedi detractor, are an unwitting part of it.
At least that’s what an idiotic manifesto from a website and podcast called Rewriting Ripley is postulating (archived here.)
According to the author — who is reportedly a “journalist” and game industry analyst named Katie McCort — the fan backlash against The Last Jedi is actually some grand conspiracy, with Steve Bannon at the top of a literal pyramid of… alt-rightiness?
We need to talk about how this so-called “fan backlash” is part of a larger movement to change and control culture put into motion by former White House Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon, in 2014. And it was a movement that successfully lead to far right governmental shifts in the United States, the UK, India, Italy, and Africa.
Leveraging over one million tweets and greater than one thousand YouTube videos, this article will track the successful rise of radical right wing hate, white supremacy, and misogyny in fan spaces starting with Gamergate and leading up to The Rise of Skywalker.
No, it couldn’t possibly be that it was simply a polarizing movie that, in many fans’ eyes, destroyed the character of Luke Skywalker and lead to a massive decline in revenue for the brand.
That’s way too simple. It has to be a grand plan concocted by “white nationalists.”
Yes, it’s an obvious hit piece that uses faulty, skewed data and strong political bias. The site was clearly designed simply to try and smear several successful YouTube channels that cover Disney Star Wars in an unflattering light (including our own sister channel, Clownfish TV!)
But what’s concerning is who is listening to and sharing this junk science.
Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo reportedly followed the Rewriting Ripley account on Twitter, and some Star Wars fans are wondering aloud if employees at Lucasfilm are actually weaponizing this hit piece to try and silence dissenting fan voices.
Lucasfilm executive Pablo Hidalgo started following Rewriting Ripley after she launched the mass flag attacks.
Pablo has follows multiple SJW's trying to destroy The Fandom Menace.
How much involvement does Lucasfilm have in these efforts to silence their critics? pic.twitter.com/YGrSZlBhiu
— Dataracer (@Dataracer117) March 20, 2021
And then there’s Katie McCort herself, who has allegedly been chumming up to Lucasfilm employees for quite some time according to Twitter user @Dataracer117.
Last year, Lucasfilm's Social Media Manager put out a call for data analysts to help her "Make this fandom better."
She was intro'd to Katie & made connections with the other SJW data scientists who've tried to deplatform the Fandom Menace off YT.
This was all very suspect. pic.twitter.com/KW4ne7DvlH
— Dataracer (@Dataracer117) March 20, 2021
If you can’t beat them fair and square, just call them “alt-right” and call it a day.
Look, Lucasfilm isn’t in a good place right now. There’s been severe backlash after the firing of Gina Carano off The Mandalorian, and The High Republic seems to have landed with a thud.
The Star Wars YouTube channel is an absolute trainwreck right now, with fans downvoting nearly every video they upload in protest.
And the views? Oh, they’re terrible. The aforementioned Clownfish TV gets more legitimate traffic than the official Star Wars YouTube channel, and with a fraction of the subscribers.
It’s not because Clownfish TV is “alt-right.” It’s because Clownfish TV resonates with disenfranchised Star Wars fans. And whether or not Disney wants to admit it, there are millions of them out there.
But would people at Disney or Lucasfilm go so far as to collude behind the scenes to perpetuate this defamatory lie of all of the grumpy Star Wars fans being literal “white nationalists?”
I’d like to think that Disney is above that. But they did recently get caught smearing fan site WDW News Today on the official Disney Parks Blog. So who knows?
If jobs are on the line, people do crazy things.
This “alt-right” insanity has infected other fandoms as well.
A few nights ago, Zack Snyder made an appearance on a charity livestream run by fans and advocates of “The Snyder Cut.”
TheWrap, an award-winning and (many believe) fairly reputable Hollywood news outlet, weighs in and gets literally everything wrong.
The writer, Phil Owen, specifically called these YouTube livestreamers “alt-right” repeatedly in both the headline and in the copy of the article.
Zack Snyder dissociated himself from the right-wing YouTube channel Geeks + Gamers while on a #SnyderCut livestream hosted by a Geeks + Gamers contributor: "We're really not associated with Geeks + Gamers as far as I'm concerned." https://t.co/qw1kuzsuJa
— TheWrap (@TheWrap) March 18, 2021
Unless TheWrap can define exactly what constitutes an “alt-right” YouTube channel or the streamers themselves call themselves “alt-right,” the outlet could be playing with fire.
So how did we get here?
Zack Snyder’s appearance on the stream — and what he had to say — whacked the beehive. Snyder made it clear that he was not part of the Geeks & Gamers YouTube group, but went on to say that he was asking for an end to hate in light of the recent spa shootings in Atlanta.
“I know that on our donation page, we still have the Geeks + Gamers logo. I just wanted to say that I really — we talked about this and we’re really not associated with Geeks + Gamers as far as I’m concerned. I really wanna make that clear.”
How people interpreted what Snyder said depends on who you ask. Some saw it as Snyder attacking Geeks & Gamers and also low key tying them to the Atlanta spa shooting.
Others saw it as Snyder simply giving a Warner Bros. mandated disclaimer and a plea for people to stop the hate going on in the world right now.
But TheWrap decided that this was Snyder clapping back at the “alt-right” and that the Geeks & Gamers group (made up of several smaller YouTube contributors besides the main channel) was decidedly “alt-right.”
If you criticize the mainstream comic book industry, you’re probably “alt-right” too.
And before the Star wars insanity, there was something called “Comicsgate.” Critics of the direction of the mainstream comic book industry were regularly taken to task by left-leaning journalists in articles like this, this and this.
The thing is, the mainstream press was saying a lot of things that people being labelled “Comicsgate” were saying.
Wow. By that logic I guess The Hollywood Reporter is just an “alt-right” propaganda rag. Who knew?
When everyone is “alt-right,” no one is.
I could bore you with some crazy theories on how this smearing of the fandom and alternative (NOT alt-right) media is probably an act of desperation by journalists facing imminent unemployment, and for companies who can no longer control the fandom through those approved media outlets.
But, like I said, that’s boring.
Instead I’ll point out that calling literally everyone you disagree with “alt-right” or a “nazi” trivializes the seriousness of actual hate movements and the atrocities of World War II.
But given that these “journalists” often can’t be bothered to do very basic research on those they’re attempting to defame, I wouldn’t expect them to do much research on world history, either.
In the meantime, we can only hope that this passes as media outlets realize that equating people you don’t agree with a literal hate movement isn’t a terribly wise business decision.
And I’d like to think that Disney would be smart enough to stay away from divisive, politically obsessed people who will corrode their brand from the inside, but they probably won’t.
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