When “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” was released, the film was hit with a wave of online complaints about its female-driven storyline and ethnically diverse casting.
A subsequent study determined the bulk of that criticism came from disgruntled male trolls and, shockingly, social media bots, with an ultimate goal of “increasing media coverage of the fandom conflict, thereby adding to and further propagating a narrative of widespread discord and dysfunction in American society.”
“Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson appeared alongside his “Knives Out” star Chris Evans at this weekend’s Wired 25 event, a two-day summit in San Francisco focused on technology and the future, and got candid when sharing his feelings about that particular criticism.
In a clip shared on Twitter, Johnson is asked how he feels about complaints that his film had too much diversity, and he issued a scorched-earth response that left no ambiguity.
“If someone is responding to diversity negatively, f**k ’em, you know,” Johnson responded.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” director J.J. Abrams previously discussed the criticism of “The Last Jedi” in an interview with IndieWire.
“Their problem isn’t ‘Star Wars,’ their problem is being threatened,” he said of complaining fans.
“’Star Wars’ is a big galaxy, and you can sort of find almost anything you want to in ‘Star Wars. If you are someone who feels threatened by women and needs to lash out against them, you can probably find an enemy in ‘Star Wars.’ You can probably look at the first movie that George [Lucas] did [‘Star Wars: A New Hope’] and say that Leia was too outspoken, or she was too tough. Anyone who wants to find a problem with anything can find the problem. The internet seems to be made for that.”
Added Abrams: “We’re not asking to take away the male point of view or male artistry or male contribution. We’re simply saying, ‘What is fair?’ I can see why people might get freaked out by it, but the people who are getting freaked out are the people who are accustomed to that privilege, and this is not oppression, this is about fairness.”