"This vitriolic discourse is happening in every aspect of our lives."
Right-wing operatives and bots, some of them Russian, were behind much of the backlash against
"Star Wars : The Last Jedi," a new study claims.
In the debate that followed, a rejection of the films on artistic merits got mingled with a Men's Rights Movements-esque backlash against the films overtly feminist through-line (both on screen and behind the scenes).
“There were clear signs of operatives trying to take this organic discussion and turn it into something where they could make their political point," he told The Post.
“In the 2016 election we only looked at elections and activists realms for this kind of rhetoric,” he added. “This shows it’s seeping into everything; this vitriolic discourse is happening in every aspect of our lives.
Director Johnson reacted to the study on Monday.
And just to be totally clear: this is not about fans liking or not liking the movie - I've had tons of great talks with great fans online and off who liked and disliked stuff, that's what fandom is all about. This is specifically about a virulent strain of online harassment.— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) October 2, 2018
Although Bay clarified that the backlash most likely did not affect the movie's earnings, some, including Hollywood Reporter editor Matthew Belloni, wondered if someone should be held accountable for lost ticket sales.
If this knocked $50M-$100M off the film’s global box office, that’s a pretty huge act of corporate espionage against Disney. https://t.co/wDkLKZDtTc— Matthew Belloni (@THRMattBelloni) October 2, 2018
Moreover, despite the fact that only about 2 percent of the accounts in the study were suspected of being Russian bots, many Liberals saw Bay's study as proof of the dangers of the Kremlin's Twitter influence.
Serious Study: Kremlin conspiracy to “propagate widespread discord and dysfunction in American society” by—are you ready?—tweeting out negative reviews of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.— Mark Ames (@MarkAmesExiled) October 2, 2018
The Alex Jones Force is strong here https://t.co/FafLhOm2Am
But right-leaning podcast host and Star Wars fan Dave Rubin wasn't convinced.
I’m as big a Star Wars fan as you can be while still having a job and getting laid now and again. The movie was absolutely terrible. (Grumpy Luke, Who’s Snoke?, Leia Force in space, Purple hair Laura Dern, Ackbar killed off-screen, casino scene, I could keep going...) #IAmHuman pic.twitter.com/fWmxH48J5k— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) October 3, 2018
Germania is a staff writer at Pluralist.
You can reach her on Twitter.