Bob Iger denies political statement in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Credit: Jonathan Olley & Leah Evans/Lucasfilm LTD

Credit: Jonathan Olley & Leah Evans/Lucasfilm LTD

By Reinier Macatangay

Since Rogue One writers Chris Weitz and Gary Whitta made controversial statements on their Twitter accounts concerning the Empire in relation to Donald Trump, there has been a movement to boycott the series.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, set to open on December 16th, is considered an experiment for Disney because of its separation from the “main” line of Star Wars movies. It is a spinoff, and if viewers like it, Disney plans to make more.

However, Weitz stirred controversy just after the elections on December 11th when he equated the Empire in Rogue One to white supremacists. He allegedly believes the new Trump administration is filled with racists and sexists.

According to an article on The Hollywood Reporter, Weitz wrote, “Please note that the Empire is a white supremacist (human) organization.”

Meanwhile, Whitta added, “Opposed by a multicultural group led by brave women.”

Rogue One features a female actress named Felicity Jones, as well as a diverse supporting cast.

According to the same article, Weitz eventually apologized for the posts. Now, the Disney CEO Bob Iger is denying there is a political connection at all, as seen in a later article on the same website.

“I think the whole story has been overblown and, quite frankly, it’s silly,” Iger said during the Rogue One premiere. “I have no reaction to [this] story at all. Frankly, this is a film that the world should enjoy. It is not a film that is, in any way, a political film. There are no political statements in it, at all.”

Still, supporters of the president-elect will not be sold on the film’s neutrality so easily. Mike Cernovich, one popular pro-Trump Twitter user, is discouraging followers from seeing Rogue One.

“Writers of new Star Wars said people who vote for Trump support Hitler. If you still give them your money, shameful. #DumpStarWars,” he wrote on Dec. 8.

Mark Dice, another liberal critic, wrote on the same date “Two Feminist propaganda Star Wars movies in a row, and Mark Hamill says Luke Skywalker may be gay. Time to #DumpStarWars.”

Despite the boycott, the response to the film so far is positive overall and fans are hyped for the opening this week. If it does well, expect a new Star Wars movie every year for as long as Disney owns the franchise.

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