The hashtag #BoycottStarWarsVII was trending after claims that casting John Boyega was ‘anti-white propaganda’ while Ava DuVernay called for positivity
The release of the new Star Wars trailer has been met with excitement online except by a small faction of Twitter users who called for a boycott of the upcoming sequel, claiming it to be “anti-white propaganda”.
The hashtag #BoycottStarWarsVII was started after trolls were angry over the casting of black actor John Boyega, claiming the film was promoting “white genocide”. The same user also referred to director JJ Abrams as a “Jewish activist”.
It started trending but other users took control of the hashtag and the majority of the tweets were calling out the bigotry behind its initial creation.
Selma director Ava DuVernay also weighed in, creating #CelebrateStarWarsVII in response.
This hashtag then led to a series of positive tweets, highlighting and praising the diversity of both the cast and the fanbase.
It’s not the first time that the casting of British actor Boyega, best known for his role in Attack the Block, has caused ire amongst a certain group of fans. Questions over the legitimacy of a black stormtrooper led to Boyega himself calling the reaction “prejudiced”.
“I’m in the movie, what are you going to do about it?” he told V magazine. “You either enjoy it or you don’t. I’m not saying get used to the future ... [it] is already happening. People of colour and women are increasingly being shown on screen. For things to be whitewashed just doesn’t make sense.”
The trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has already had over 4m views. Yesterday also saw online ticketing open for the film and lead to the crashing of a number of key sites, due to overwhelming demand.
This article was written by Benjamin Lee, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 20th October 2015 11.08 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010