There were two real-life minor mysteries that have had people scratching their heads this week: Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s surprisingly low audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and those “She Knew” posters showing Meryl Streep standing with Harvey Weinstein that started popping up around Los Angeles. On the surface they seem like very different issues, but it turns out they have more in common than you might think. Like the fact that they are both related to, I dunno, movies and Hollywood and shit. Oh, and also the fact that right-wing nutjobs are behind them both.
Ok, fine — “allegedly” behind them. Let’s start with The Last Jedi, which currently has a critic’s rating of 92% (so fresh!) on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to an audience score of 54%. Now, that’s a helluva gap. Are critics really THAT out of touch with the rest of us? Did the film disappoint fans to a greater degree than anyone expected? Probably a bit of both, really. But there’s also a third option, because of course there is: “Asshole on the internet fires up some bots to create fake audience reviews, thus instigating this whole debacle.” The person (or “persons”) claiming responsibility run the, ahem, “Down With Disney’s Treatment of Franchises and its Fanboys” Facebook page.
Related: there are days when I just want to throw my computer into the nearest body of water and start raising alpacas or something. But anyway.
The unknown moderator, whom I will now refer to as “The Saddest Asshole In The Room,” has started speaking with media outlets, including The Huffington Post, about just how hurt his butt is about The Last Jedi, and why. The general gist of his argument? The new films push a “feminist agenda” and introduce too many women into the canon, while erasing the existence of the Star Wars Extended Universe (which is, like, books or whatever). An example of the argument in action:
“Regarding female heroes: Did you not see everything that came out of Ghostbusters? That is why,” he said. “I’m sick and tired of men being portrayed as idiots. There was a time we ruled society and I want to see that again. That is why I voted for Donald Trump.”
Such wit! This same person/group also blames Marvel for ruining superhero movies and prefers the DCEU. And just because it made me laugh, here is an actual post on that Facebook page:
OH WOMEN, IMPEDING THE CLARITY OF MEN. I mean, that’s like literally the second skill-set on my resume, after “Has maintained a vagina for 34 years, AMA.”
Anyway, there’s no way of actually knowing if The Saddest Asshole In The Room is really the bot-maestro behind that low, low audience score. We can only take his word for it. Which… frankly, I’m already bored by. So let’s move on, shall we?
If you remember from earlier this week, there was a whole kerfuffle on social media when Rose McGowan called out Meryl Streep for being a hypocrite in a Tweet (that was later deleted). The crux of the issue was that Meryl had acted in movies for Weinstein, so must have known what a monster he was, but was still planing to wear black to the Golden Globes to participate in the silent protest. There was some general back and forth online between different women activists, until finally Meryl released her own statement explaining that no really, she DIDN’T know about Weinstein being a rapist, and also that maybe it was in his best interest to keep her and others like her in the dark.
Suddenly posters depicting an old photo of Meryl, standing next to Weinstein with the words “She Knew” over her eyes, were plastered all over Los Angeles. They were near Meryl’s home, and near the 20th Century Fox lot, for example. And then someone took responsibility for them. Was it a member of the #RoseArmy? Fuck no, it was another alt-right wingnut!
A so-called right-wing guerrilla artist and former U.S. Marine called Sabo spoke with The Guardian, claiming he and two collaborators came up with the campaign, not because they care about sexual assault or the environment of complicity that allowed Weinstein to flourish, but in retaliation for Streep’s performance in The Post. He believes the film, which is about the freedom of the press, is being used as a platform to bash President Trump.”She’s swiping at us so we’re swiping back,” says Sabo.
It’s so convenient that he’s not also creating artwork bashing Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, or any of the other famous people involved in the making of The Post. Nope, it’s just Streep that has earned his ire.
Funny thing, that.
Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a wall I need to bang my head against.