Disney CEO Bob Iger told the Hollywood Reporter that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has “no political statements in it, at all.” That comes after a recent call for a boycott by the self-described alt-right, a political group accused of espousing racist, anti-Semitic, and homo-/xenophobic philosophies.
The boycott, #DumpStarWars is the result of tweets from the writers of Rogue One. After Donald Trump’s election victory, Chris Weitz shared, “Please note that the Empire is a white supremacist (human) organization.” Gary Whitta agreed and added, “Opposed by a multicultural group led by brave women.”
According to the BBC, #DumpStarWars trended and was retweeted 120,000 times in 24 hours. Eventually apologies were offered. Weitz offered, “People. My sincere apologies to Star Wars fans whom I hurt with comments connecting an innocent escape to ugly politics.”
At the Rogue One Hollywood premiere, though, Iger said, “I think the whole story has been overblown and, quite frankly, it’s silly. … [Rogue One] has one of the greatest and most diverse casts of any film we have ever made and we are very proud of that, and that is not a political statement, at all.”
Of course, Star Wars has styled its villains after historical political figures. According to StarWars.com, “George Lucas even refers to the Imperial officers in The Empire Strikes Back as ‘Nazis’ while giving his commentary of the film.”
Will this boycott do damage? Experts don’t think so. Rogue One is on track to make more than $130 million at the box office when it debuts Dec. 15.
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