The Rogue One Trump controversy has been going on for a few weeks, but as the release date of the latest Star Wars installment nears, it has gained much attention and caused open hostility between social media users.
This is an attempt to distinguish fact from fiction and give you, the reader, the information you need to know to come to your own conclusions regarding the Rogue One Trump uproar.
According to Daily Mail, the drama began to unfold after one of the movie’s screenwriters, Chris Weitz, tweeted about Trump following his presidential victory. The tweet contained a symbolic Rogue One image with a safety pin, which recently has become a token of equality, nestled within. Next to the image Weitz proclaimed, “Star Wars against hate. Spread it.”
In addition to this, the Hollywood Reporter reported that Weitz deleted a tweet in which he wrote, “Please note that the Empire is a white supremacist (human) organization.” Fellow writer Gary Whitta emphasized that point with a tweet of his own that read, “Opposed by a multicultural group led by brave women.”
Although the one tweet was erased and none of the posts specified the president-elect by name, it couldn’t be taken back in people’s minds, and the Rogue One Trump controversy was born.
Avid Trump fan Jack Posobiec responded to these posts by tweeting, “Star Wars writers rewrote and reshot Rogue One to add in Anti Trump scenes calling him a racist. Disgusting.”
This, according to several sources, is an outright lie. However, some of Posobiec’s followers didn’t need proof to propagate the claim across social networks, sparking widespread furor among the Donald Trump-supporting community.
Rogue One did have to be reshot, but initial reports indicated the reason behind the reshoots had nothing to do with Trump and was all about improving the movie and making it the best possible experience for Star Wars fans. Entertainment Weekly spoke with a LucasFilm insider who, under the guarantee of remaining anonymous, told them the reshoots “have everything to do with clarity and character development.”
Posobiec later tweeted that he had gotten rid of his Rogue One tickets “after the writers said it was an Anti Trump movie,” and Chris Weitz eventually responded to Jack directly by calling him a liar.
Mike Cernovich, who is a well-known advocate of the so-called “alt right” movement, added fuel to the Rogue One Trump fire by tweeting, “Writers of new Star Wars said people who vote for Trump support Hitler. If you still give them your money, shameful.” There is no direct evidence to support this claim.
Angry pro-Trump Twitter users started the hashtag #DumpStarWars in reaction to the claims from Posobiec and Cernovich.
Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, responded to the Rogue One Trump outrage. “I think the whole story has been overblown and, quite frankly, it’s silly,” he said during a brief interview with the Hollywood Reporter on Saturday, adding, “I have no reaction to [this] story at all. Frankly, this is a film that the world should enjoy. It is not a film that is, in any way, a political film. There are no political statements in it, at all.”
Entertainment Weekly reports that during the same interview, Iger boasted about the multifarious Rogue One cast and insisted that promoting diversity is not the same as sending a political message.
Speculations are arising in regards to Weitz and Whitta’s Rogue One Trump-related Twitter posts and if it was a mistake for the writers to not only promote a political stance but advocate opposition to a specific political viewpoint during a crucial time in a movie’s lifespan.
Analytical expert Paul Dergarabedian says it’s essential for the people who make up the lifeblood of a movie to remain unbiased towards hot-button issues. “If it’s a Michael Moore movie, go for it. Or Dinesh D’Souza. Then your currency is controversy. But if you’re producing something for the masses, your currency is not controversy,” he explained.
Will the Rogue One Trump controversy impact box office numbers on the new Star Wars installment, given what you know? Is this all being blown out of proportion by Trump loyalists, or should Chris Weitz and Gary Whitta have kept their thoughts to themselves and their fingers from the keys? Share your thoughts on this in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Marcell Faber/Shutterstock]