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Trump fans urge Star Wars boycott over reshoot claims

Scene from Rogue OneImage copyright
Lucasfilm

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The writers said it was ‘completely false’ that Rogue One scenes had been re-shot after the election

Supporters of Donald Trump are urging a boycott of the Star Wars film, Rogue One, due for US release next week.

The campaign began with a series of tweets from activist Jack Posobiec, who claimed the writers changed the film to add scenes linking Mr Trump to racism.

Screenwriter Chris Weitz said that this was “completely fake”, though he and another writer have tweeted their opposition to the US president-elect.

#DumpStarWars has been retweeted 120,000 times in the past 24 hours.

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@jackposobiec

In a Periscope video, Jack Posobiec, who is an activist with Citizens for Trump, claimed the writers had said the Empire in the film “is a white supremacist organisation like the Trump administration and the diverse rebels are going to defeat them”.

“They’re trying to make the point of using this movie to push the false narrative… that Trump is a racist.” he said.

The basis of the claims appears to be tweets sent by Mr Weitz and fellow screenwriter Gary Whitta.

Following Mr Trump’s election win in November, Mr Weitz posted: “Please note that the Empire is a white supremacist (human) organisation.”

Mr Whitta responded: “Opposed by a multi-cultural group led by brave women.”

Both tweets were deleted within the day and Chris Weitz later apologised for politicising the film.

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@chrisweitz

In the wake of the election, both writers also changed their Twitter avatars to the symbol of the Rebel Alliance, with a safety pin – a symbol which has been adopted in support of minorities.

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@chrisweitz

And Gary Whitta had previously apparently referred to Trump as a “Nazi“:

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@garywhitta

The #DumpStarWars hashtag quickly harnessed plenty of support:

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@latinaafortrump

But was also widely mocked:

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@DarkTwistedMeow

The film premieres next week in the US.


The pro-Trump Twitter army

Donald Trump has 17 million followers on Twitter.

Among them are a group of vocal supporters who frequently champion him and are quick to denigrate those who oppose or criticise him.

#DumpStarWars is only the latest in a series of online campaigns they have launched.

In the last few weeks, there have also been calls to boycott the cereal company Kelloggs, Starbucks and the musical Hamilton.

A handful of accounts are frequently retweeted in the thousands.

They tend belong to people who work in the media, managing websites or producing other media supporting Trump.

The most high-profile is Briton Paul Joseph Watson, an editor at Infowars, a website that has published outlandish conspiracy theories including one claiming Hillary Clinton has a secret “satanic network”.

The tone of their tweets is frequently combative and polemical. They are quick to bait “liberals” or “social justice warriors” but not averse to a bit of martyrdom either, frequently decrying the MSM – mainstream media – as liars that victimise Mr Trump.

One conspiracy theory based on fake news which was popular among them, #pizzagate, led a man to fire a rifle in a restaurant linked to it this week.

For more on social media reaction to this story and others, read our daily Social Buzz

Trump fans urge Star Wars boycott over reshoot claims

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