Men's Rights Activists Think They Actually Got People To Boycott Star Wars
The Debrief: Men's Rights Activists, Return of Kings, Asked Their Readers To Boycott Star Wars and Mad Max: Fury Road
A group of men’s rights activists, who go by the name Return of Kings, is claiming that its campaign to boycott Star Wars: The Force Awakens cost the movie millions.
Return of Kings is a website which describes itself as ‘a blog for heterosexual, masculine men’ and bemoans that ‘yesterday’s masculinity is today’s misogyny.’ They make up a weird corner of the web which is often referred to as the ‘manosphere’.
Before the film’s release back in the final months of 2015, the hashtag #BoycotteEpisodeVII started trending on Twitter. It was started by protestors (and we use the term very lightly) who were angry because they felt that new characters Finn (played by John Boyega) and Rey (played by Daisy Ridley) took lead roles away from white, male actors.
That’s right guys, the so-called ‘manosphere’ was up in arms because, in their opinion, the film’s casting demonstrated too much diversity. They mockingly renamed The Force Awakens ‘Social Justice Wars’. OK, then.
Return of Kings reviewed the film and described Finn as a ‘glorified white knight’ and Rey as a ‘Mary Sue’, that’s someone who’s so perfect, they’re annoying. Apparently, they also felt that the bit where she uses her engineering skills to advise Hans Solo on how to fly his beloved Falcon was where the whole film fell apart.
‘It’s as if Abrams was paid by a female science scholarship foundation to drum up some public service announcements via film,’ they said.
The men’s rights activists also tried to put their readers off of the new Mad Max film, Mad Max: Fury Road, cleverly renaming it ‘Mad Max: Feminist Road’.
Writing on the site Aaron Clarey said he was unhappy to see that ‘Charlize Theron’s character barked orders to Mad Max.’
Outraged, he added, ‘Nobody barks orders to Mad Max.’
He continued his acerbic review, saying, ‘Alas, I was forced to accept reality. Fury Road was not going to be a movie made for men. It was going to be a feminist piece of propaganda posing as a guy flick.’
Clarey issued a call to arms to his readers, imploring them not to go and see the film: ‘…do yourself and all men across the world a favour. Not only REFUSE to see the movie, but spread the word to as many men as possible.’
Return of Kings ran an online poll just before Christmas which asked the question: ‘Did online reporting to the social justice nature of the new Star Wars movie affect your decision to see the film?’ Fifty-five per cent of the sites users voted ‘yes’.
Despite the fact that the question was badly worded – meaning that the results of the poll aren’t exactly conclusive because it’s not entirely clear what they’re asking – Return of Kings used some very ambitious and creative maths to give themselves a big pat on the back.
They estimated that with a readership of more than 900,000 between 21 November and 21 December, the results ‘amount to a potential direct impact of $4,219,456.54 (that’s 55% x the average price of a ticket at $8.38 x 915,482) on the total amount the film has raked in at the box office [so far].
We’re pretty sure Disney isn’t all that fussed though tbh, as the film is currently on track to be the biggest grossing film of all-time in the US. It has already made $90m in one weekend and, according to Forbes, is set to top Avatar soon.
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