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Is “Bird Box” a secret SJW assault on able-bodied straight white men? A bunch of racist dinguses say “yes”

Sandra Bullock: Race traitor?

By David Futrelle

Is Netflix’s Bird Box — set in a world in which the only way to defeat evil is to literally never look at it — just a post-apocalyptic horror flick with a premise that’s equal parts terrifying and ridiculous? A sort of mashup of A Quiet Place and The Happening that’s nowhere near as compelling as the former but still a decided improvement over the latter?

Or is it a sinister SJW assault on straight white males?

That, in any case, is the central claim of a YouTube video by a would-be Western Civilization defender called Black Pilled, a video that’s been viewed more than 100,000 times since it was uploaded on New Year’s Eve.

“This is clearly an anti white propaganda film dressed up as a post apocalypse film,” Black Pilled charges.

It was just an excuse to repeatedly demonize white people while the audience is under the stress induced by the suspenseful scenes.

Black Pilled is outraged that the straight white male characters in the film tend to be assholes and/or villains; meanwhile, most of those who behave in heroic or selfless ways are women, people of color, and, in one case, gay.

This is a movie about a single white mother who is confronted endlessly by dangerous evil white men and then repeatedly saved and protected by non-whites. It’s laid on so thick that the whole … end-of-the-world aspect of the film is reduced to a subplot. 

Weird that this alleged “subplot” pervades every instant of the film. But never mind,

Black Pilled is especially disgusted by John Malkovich’s character in the film, the only Trump supporter in a house filled with a multicultural assortment of characters trying to ride out the end of the world together, a hugely arrogant asshole played in the grand Malkovich style.

Black Pilled isn’t just bothered by the character; he’s appalled to see Malkovich cast as a Trumper. “John Malkovich [has] always kind of given off a feminine vibe,” he complains,

It’s kind of a ridiculous casting choice, and quite frankly he was probably only chosen because he’s bald and it plays into the whole skinhead aesthetic.

No, I’m pretty sure they cast him because they needed an asshole and there are play assholes with as much relish as Malkovich.

Meanwhile, while Malkovich malkoviches, the most prominent black character in the film, Trevante Rhodes’ Tom, is portrayed as selfless and heroic, a “random black superhero man” who’s unrealistically “flawless,” in Black Pilled’s view.

Black Pilled isn’t the only one with a racist critique of Bird Box. Indeed, over on the One Angry Gamer blog — you may remember it as the source of the worst sentence ever written in the English language — the aforementioned angry gamer (a.k.a. Billy D) offers up an even blacker white-supremacist pill.

As Billy sees it, Bird Box doesn’t just demonize white men; it actively pushes an agenda

encourag[ing] interracial, homosexual, or non-traditional relationships, all while criticizing the depiction of traditional hetero marriages and anything related to straight, white males being heroic or admirable.

Billy reports with horror that

the only romances that appear in the film are interracial …  

There are no minority villains in the film. …

All of the main antagonist aggressors in the film are straight, white males. All of them.

The straight, white males also don’t get to engage in any heroics, and what sparse moment of heroics they do have are undermined in some way. …

This fits in line with the articles above about how straight, white males need to have the rug pulled out from underneath them in terms of appearing on-screen as empowered, admirable characters, even if it means defying all the odds, breaking immersion, and disrupting the suspension of disbelief in order to do so. 

Even if we set aside the central racist premises behind Billy D’s argument — that there is something inherently evil about portraying white men as villains and people of color as heroic, or that films featuring interracial relationships are somehow racist attacks on white people — a lot of Billy D’s complaints about the film simply aren’t based in fact.

While the only relationships shown on-screen are interracial ones, most of the relationships alluded to in the film aren’t. There are several “minority villains” in the film, one a survivor who betrays fellow survivors, another a diabolical marauder.

And there is one (presumably) straight white male character in the film, one who doesn’t get much screen time but who’s nevertheless central to the plot, who’s as selfless and morally spotless as that “random black superhero man.”

Oh, but he’s blind, so somehow his whiteness and maleness don’t count,

Billy D. evidently remembered this character’s existence just before he wrapped up his post, amending his earlier critique of the film as an attack on all “straight white men” and declaring the film instead  an attack on “[a]ll straight white males who aren’t disabled.”

It would be one thing if this loopy critique were limited to a single YouTuber and a rather eccentric “angry gamer.” But both of these critiques seem to be resonating with a wider audience. Black Pilled’s video has inspired nearly 5000 comments on YouTube, many of them bristling with open racism and anti-Semitism.

“Jews cannot touch mainstream media propaganda without making it degenerative to society,” wrote one YouTube commenter.

“Hitler should’ve won.,” declared another.

In a thread on 4chan’s /pol/ forum inspired by Black Pilled’s video, the regulars were especially exercised by the relationship between Sandra Bullock’s character and the aforementioned “black superhero man,” with the thread-starter dwelling on the film’s depiction of his “black hand over pregnant Sandra bullocks tummy.”

Another anon declared that

It’s like an SJW watched A Quiet place and got mad that there wasn’t enough interracial cuck scenes and caricatures of Trump supporters.

These people have broken minds.

Meanwhile, in a discussion of the film on the MGTOW subreddit, one commenter echoed Billy D’s charge that the film was propaganda against “straight white able bodied males.”

While Bird Box  has managed to outrage some of the internet’s worst people, from YouTube to 4chan to the MGTOW subreddit, this particular outburst of manufactured outrage hasn’t reached Lady Ghostbusters levels, and it seems highly unlikely that it ever will. Even on 4chan and in the MGTOW subreddit, numerous commenters thought the claims of anti-white-male propaganda seemed faintly ridiculous.

But 4chan being 4chan, some commenters managed to work some racism and misogyny into their critique of a racist, misogynist conspiracy theory.

“This is your brain on pol,” wrote one anon

where even a shitty netflix movie triggers your micropenis because a black guy is with a used old used up white woman, who raises her white kids, making him the cuck. 

On the MGTOW subreddit, by contrast, the critiques of the conspiracy theories were almost reasonable.

“I mean it wasn’t bad to me,” wrote one MGTOW Redditor of the film,

[It] wasn’t amazing or anything but I certainly wouldn’t express it as being feminazi ish or politically corrected to fuck.

Sandra Bullock was pretty good tbh …

Wasn’t much that particularly stood out but again, I like the overall premise.

There was some pretty dumb plot choices but those were just dumb plot choices nothing really more, even the dumb shit wasn’t THAT bad.

I’d give it a 6-6.5/10

I’m a little stunned to find myself saying this about a comment in the MGTOW subreddit, but … that’s actually a pretty fair assessment of the film, if slightly harsher than my own.

But I’m an SJW cuck, so what do I know?

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Bee
Bee
1 year ago

a single white mother who is confronted endlessly by dangerous evil white men

Sounds like every single day for everyone who isn’t a white dude.

lkeke35
lkeke35
1 year ago

As my sister likes to say: See what happened was! white men like this have been visiting places like Tumblr and Twitter, and people’s blogs, perhaps have seen film and television criticism from several different types of critical views. They’ve seen it, and wish to emulate the ability to produce criticism and meta essays, but lacking critical thinking skills, they fail in the attempt.

Plus this is just more proof to me that bigots of all kinds lack the ability to craft anything original, and can only crib, anything that requires creativity, from others, without understanding any of what they’re cribbing. To be able to give effective meta-critical analysis of visual media requires a level of rationality, respect, and a basic understanding of how human beings actually think and feel in real life situations, that these men don’t possess. This also requires an understanding of story, themes, philosophy, history, and analysis that I’m pretty sure they’ve never studied, despite their high IQs.

And it’s not just them. I’ve seen this kind of thing all over the internet. People who have perhaps seen and read critical analysis of pop culture media, maybe through hearsay, but have only the most rudimentary understanding of what it is, or how to do it, if that.

They’re not even capable critiquing the real world, let alone fictional ones. This kind of effort at thinking without thinking just hurts my eyeballs.

lkeke35
lkeke35
1 year ago

Oh, and another way this “criticism” hurts the brains of those of us who have actually studied the subject is he just described all of Hollywood film history, and every stupid stereotype of marginalized and PoC characters in popular media, that has been expressly created by, for, and about White men, and is whining about how this movie subverts that.

Some people just deserve a good sharp pinch.

Valentin - Emigrantski Ragamuffin
Valentin - Emigrantski Ragamuffin
1 year ago

I think the difference between this and “lady ghostbusters” response is that Bird Box seems to be a better film generally than Ghostbusters so there are lots of people saying that they enjoyed Bird Box which stops the hate from reaching the level of Ghostbusters hate. There were lots of people who got disappointed about Ghostbusters or just didn’t like it because of things which are very reasonable. And then all the mysoginsts and racists decided to pretend the people who don’t like Ghostbusters for usual reasons to not like a film, were racists and fascists and mysoginst just like them! So it makes their movement look more powerful. Also of course with Ghostbusters there was lots of toxic male nerd culture about “ruined childhood” because of women in a Ghostbusters movie. Because Bird Box is “original” (or like you said, 2 ideas together and with good cast like Sandra Bullock and John Malkovich) it will not get these criticisms. Although I also like the actresses in Ghostbusters but I think Paul Fieg didn’t do as good as he normally can. Spy was very funny so I know he can make a good funny movie.

Fujimoto
Fujimoto
1 year ago

Looks like none of those shitheads noticed Bird Box is based on a novel made before A Quiet Place.

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
1 year ago

Great bleeding SHIT! Everything is an attack on white people to these idiots. The fear they live with must be so debilitating….

Noe L
1 year ago

Was John Malkovich even playing a Trump supporter? I don’t remember any overt reference to contemporary politics, unless we’re supposed to assume he is…

Anyhow I wonder what they thought of Gary’s semblance to Paul Krugman.

Sophist
Sophist
1 year ago

People complain about a lack of minority characters in mainstream film as a whole: “You sjws need to lighten up, they’re just movies, representation is meaningless, you’re just looking for things to be mad about”

A movie has a white villain and minority protagonist: “THIS IS WHITE GENOCIDE!”

Von Ragnar
Von Ragnar
1 year ago

…ok, you got me there David. From the premise, I was pretty sure it’s gonna be Heartiste again.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Meanwhile, while Malkovich malkoviches

comment image

Bina
1 year ago

These people have broken minds.

As usual, the projection is strong with this one. Blather, wince, repeat.

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
1 year ago

It’s like an SJW watched A Quiet place and got mad that there wasn’t enough interracial cuck scenes and caricatures of Trump supporters.

These people have broken minds.

Anon says those of us who fight for social justice need a movie to meet a certain quota of scenes of interracial cuckolding (and of course he, not the dictionary, will define cuckolding) in order to enjoy that movie — and we’re the ones with broken minds?

Kereea
Kereea
1 year ago

But…there is a heroic straight white dude. The main “don’t let anyone inside” guy, Douglas, isn’t exactly wrong in his suggestions (in fact sometimes he’s very, very right, and not just in not opening the door), and his unwillingness to open the door is founded in his wife’s death from running outside to help the main heroine, Malorie.

Dude goes out saving Malorie and the two babies as infants while Tom wasn’t available. He kinda was awesome. Meanwhile, the only Asian guy, Greg (who is also gay), has a bad plan that gets him killed when he decides to try looking at the monsters thru camera because surely that won’t activate the effects, right?

As for “villains” I’ll admit I found it weird how, since the only people who don’t insta-kill themselves upon seeing the creatures are those with mental illnesses that, like, give the creatures a backdoor into your mind and make you a servant to make others see them instead…that all those people did appear to be white. Tbf, the majority of the cast was white, but still, that is a little “huh” on reflection.

Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent, Bard of the New Movement
Troubelle: Moonbeam Malcontent, Bard of the New Movement
1 year ago

Well the world it ain’t your magic mirror
And as you will shortly see
You won’t find your mock-up reflection
In every movie
Sure it may not be there dancin’
On every silver screen
But there’s a legacy to Hollywood
Can’t say that it’s too good
Leavin’ plenty to be seen.

rv97
rv97
1 year ago

Thank you David. Keep exposing the racists, misogynists, transphobes, homophobes, ablists and the scumbags that continue to infest YouTube while you can. Everyone who visits YouTube should adblock it and fund the other creators (i.e. not these fascist scumbags) through alternative means.

As a side note, white people are not and should not be special, since they spent most of history having that status. Even if we place an emphasis on minority races, there are more non-white people than there are white people around the world.

Moggie
Moggie
1 year ago

I read the book, and remember thinking that it would be difficult to convey it effectively on film, so congratulations to The Jews for mostly succeeding at this. Wait, what?

@lkeke35, so what you’re saying is that mediocre white men don’t automatically excel at everything? Huh. This will take me some time to process. Seriously, though, I agree with you about media criticism. The majority of the amateur (and some professional) film analysis I’ve read makes me wonder why the writer thinks they have the skills to pull it off.

Right now, I’d love to write an in-depth piece about precisely why the micro-budget Japanese zombie flick One Cut of the Dead is so awesome, but that’s way outside my ability, so I just rave at people that they must see it.

Valentin - Emigrantski Ragamuffin
Valentin - Emigrantski Ragamuffin
1 year ago

As a side note, white people are not and should not be special, since they spent most of history having that status.

I don’t think this is entirely true, but I think because in schools in “white majority” countries children are taught only white history it feel a that way, and increases the idea that white people have the status and achivements. When really the majority of history is ignored, especially the parts which make white people look bad.

Chris Oakley
1 year ago

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: “Bird Box” would be more accurately titled “Bird Brain”. It’s got to be one of the stupidest things Netflix has ever put out.

Bearing that in mind, I agree Black Pilled is an asshole.

rv97
rv97
1 year ago

@Valentin – Emigrantski Ragamuffin

Yeah I’ve only been taught history from a more European perspective.

rv97
rv97
1 year ago

@Valentin – Emigrantski Ragamuffin

Yeah. To be fair, most of history I’ve been taught, if not, nearly all, has been from a European perspective.

Weatherwax
Weatherwax
1 year ago

@Fujimoto

Looks like none of those shitheads noticed Bird Box is based on a novel made before A Quiet Place.

That reminds me of the time I saw the Children’s Hour in the theatre (Keira Knightly & Elisabeth Moss, excellent). During the interval, a man sitting behind me said to his date “It’s very derivative of the Crucible”. Which astounded me, because I didn’t know Lillian Hellman even had a time machine to reference 1950’s plays in her 1934 work. How would I ever learn anything without eavesdropping on clearly more knowledgeable men? /s

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
1 year ago

@ Ikeke35:

Some people just deserve a good sharp pinch

You are the wind beneath my wings!

Moggie
Moggie
1 year ago

@Weatherwax, I was going to say something about the Marshall McLuhan scene in Annie Hall, but Woody Allen’s skeeviness has retroactively ruined everything.

Scildfreja Unnyðnes
Scildfreja Unnyðnes
1 year ago

Doods, you’re the ones who sort of forced filmmakers to use blitheringly obvious signifiers for anyone who doesn’t fit the cis-straight-WASP mold. Non-straight people in a movie have to go in for their big gross non-straight kisses, because otherwise you’d assume they were straight. Non-cis people have to fail at passing or have some sort of revealing moment, or you’d assume they’re cis.

How do these dorks know that all of the villains are straight men?

Moggie
Moggie
1 year ago

@Scildfreja:

How do these dorks know that all of the villains are straight men?

comment image

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
1 year ago

It was just an excuse to repeatedly demonize white people while the audience is under the stress induced by the suspenseful scenes.

Yes, I’m sure the filmmakers huddled around a conference room table trying to figure out how to get everyone to hate white people, and decided the Clockwork Orange treatment was the best way.

I’m usually sitting in a warm, comfy chair eating delicious food and petting my floofy cat during my (limited) exposures to alt-right propaganda, and yet I still think white supremacists are repulsive, nauseating, and awful. Explain that?

Eli
Eli
1 year ago

Malkovich is a very odd dude. He claims to have no interest in politics at all… but he’s also said publicly that he’d like to shoot a journalist and a politician for their opposition to the invasion of Iraq… but he’s also said “guns scare me”… but he’s also said he thinks the death penalty is no big deal because we’re all going to die anyway so why not, and the left is just against it because they like to coddle criminals. So I think there’s a fair chance that the role of a right-wing survivalist is one he’d identify with.

TreePerson
TreePerson
1 year ago

@Eli

Like I oppose the death penalty because:

1. its more expensive then life in prison when you account for the extra court costs and stuff.

2. you can not undo it if they turn out to be innocent.

3. I would rather force them to live with themselves and what they did for the rest of their natural life.

SadOldGuy
SadOldGuy
1 year ago

My favorite take on the movie is still “Netflix’s Bird Box Is Really About How White People Don’t Want to See Racism” by Michael Harriot of the website “The Root”. Man, the racists freaked out about that article.

tim gueguen
1 year ago

Bird Box has inspired another one of those silly challenges. People are running around with blindfolds over their eyes trying to do everyday things. It’s spread quickly enough that Netflix has already put a warning in front of the film. As you might imagine people who are visually disabled are less than amused with this so called challenge.

brian
brian
1 year ago

I just wanted to say: the book is real good, y’all.

M K
M K
1 year ago

“Oh, but he’s blind, so somehow his whiteness and maleness don’t count,”

There’s probably an interesting sociological study in this observation, around how whiteness affects people’s experience along other axes of oppression, or whether other oppression ever makes white privilege less complete/more conditional, the more someone varies from the “male, straight, cis, perisex, abled, upper class” white ideal.

(I know it was supposed to be a snarky line about these guys cherrypicking in their film critiques, or else literally not realizing the blind guy is also a white man, but…there could still be a lot there, in terms of how these groups conceptualize whiteness, and operate.)

(Edit: hey, I think the blockquotes actually worked for me!)

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
1 year ago

“Perisex”?

kat
kat
1 year ago

and they claim “sjw’s” have big victim complexes. these whiners complaining about this ‘challenge’ being ‘anti-white’ prove otherwise. these guys just love to project their flaws unto others

Dingleberry Jones
Dingleberry Jones
1 year ago

I guess it’s just not enough that almost every other movie is about white dude heroes……this is why I think men who say they hate this movie are most likely MRA shitbags. THE MOVIE IS SO GOOD!

Pie
Pie
1 year ago

@Surplus to Requirements

“Perisex”?

A new word for me… means “not intersex”, apparently. Trying to suggest nearness to one of the poles of binary sex, I guess. Seems a bit etymologically dubious, but no-one seems to be able to make up a better word.

Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
1 year ago

I should be very offended about Tom Hollander’s character, because that played into the hoary old trope that if someone has an English accent they are a villain by default.

Moon_custafer
Moon_custafer
1 year ago

@Pie:

So, it doesn’t refer to sex with creatures from Persian mythology/classic Doctor Who companions, then? 😉

Jane Done
Jane Done
1 year ago

@Valentin: Not simply just ignored, whole swaths of history was burned, defaced or destroyed by white settlers.

Jacob
Jacob
1 year ago

“Tere’s also this constant push from Leftists to encourage interracial, homosexual, or non-traditional relationships, all while criticizing the depiction of traditional hetero marriages and anything related to straight, white males being heroic or admirable.”

What? This is a false dilemma if I ever heard one. Representation doesn’t automatically exclusion. And we have minority villains a white heroes in this film.
The links he show state that there are still plenty of straight white males in media.

They refer to this: http://assets.uscannenberg.org/docs/inequality-in-1100-popular-films.pdf

“Because Leftists have been pushing against traditional Western values aggressively in the last decade, including encouraging women to stay single and not get married, as well as pressuring women to have kids out of wedlock.”

He ignores research about marriage in the links he gives to support his argument: https://mic.com/articles/116458/13-lies-we-need-to-stop-telling-women-about-marriage#.oDtUh7Ia8

This doesn’t discourage mpnagomous marriages at all. But he only shows a screenshot that doesn’t have that info.

And he fails to realize interracial marriages have increased dramatically, https://www.bustle.com/p/heres-how-views-on-interracial-marriage-have-changed-in-the-last-50-years-59048