New ‘Star Wars’ Trailer Prompts Racist Backlash and Petition

By Sameer Rao Oct 20, 2015

The long-awaited trailer for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," the latest film in the historic sci-fi/fantasy series, premiered during Monday Night Football yesterday and it featured the movie’s multicultural cast. It didn’t take long before racists insisted on having their word. 

A loose social media campaign, using the hashtag #BoycottStarWarsVII, sprouted up as a reaction to what people perceive as some liberal brainwashing plot. The movie features black British actor John Boyega in one of the two new lead roles, and Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o and actor Oscar Issac (both of whom are people of color) are also featured in the star-studded cast. 

All of this is an affront to many using the hashtag, who apparently forgot about Billy Dee Williams’ and Samuel L. Jackson’s performances in previous Star Wars movies and think that the presence of people of color and women in the new film is an affront to the original franchise. Here are a few tweets, mentioned in a piece from The Hollywood Reporter: 


An account with the same name as the hashtag is retweeting many of the posts (you can see them here, but we don’t recommend doing so unless you want to feel all the rage). 

Some users are trying to reclaim the hashtag and criticize the racist campaign:


Wired reports that users on infamous image board 4Chan came up with the campaign to instigate controversy before it was taken over with more racist and discriminatory content. 

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" will arrive in theaters on December 18.

(H/t The Hollywood Reporter, Wired