Following the release of the new “Star Wars” trailer, media got to buzzing about purported racist uproar over a black Stormtrooper. Tweeter and blogger @redsteeze documented some of the media frenzy in a post:
From The Wilderness:
The issue of [actor John] Boyega’s skin color has been such a heated topic of debate online that none of the news outlets who ran stories about fan racism directed at Boyega could cite a single example of it happening. Not on Twitter. Not in an Op-ed, not on movie fan sites.
The story appeared at Mashable by Annie Colbert and once again didn’t link any actual criticisms about Boyega’s race. The closest any of them came wasKimberley Dadds from Buzzfeed embedding tweets that mentioned people were outraged yet linked or provided no examples to any actual racist comments to which those tweets were referring to. Variations of this story that appeared at The Wrap and Verge opted for headlines like “Black Stormtrooper fires back at critics” but didn’t reference a single critic. Yahoo Movies took it a step further and used the occasion to slam Fox and Rupert Murdoch but once again provided no tweets, links or blogs. Kriston Capps from The Atlantic wrote a full Op Ed titled “Of Course there are black Storm Troopers” with the tone that people were once again objecting and he was simply responding to them. Yet in his entire piece, he didn’t provide a single link, tweet or even anonymous YouTube comment, deferring instead to a Mel Brooks joke about the black troopers using an afro pick to “comb the desert” in Spaceballs. If these writers are going to start claiming Mel Brooks is racist they may want to reach further back to minimize any attempt at looking foolish by targeting Blazing Saddles instead.
We highly recommend reading the full post.
As @redsteeze mentions, writer Kriston Capps was among those who claimed to see evidence of a racist backlash against the decision to cast Boyega as a Stormtrooper.
From The Atlantic:
Maybe the only people more alarmed than Boyega by his circumstances were commenters surprised by the sight of a black man’s head emerging from the white plate armor of an Imperial stormtrooper. People on Reddit compared the trailer to a scene from the 1987 Mel Brooks spoof Space Balls, a gag that plays up a black stormtrooper as jive-talkin’. In other threads and on Twitter, some people registered mere racist shock.
OK, but where’s the evidence of racism, exactly?
YouTube comments? Really?