I don’t normally get that angry about things. Disappointed, sure. Upset, often enough. But really, truly angry? That emotion is normally reserved for pure, undistilled racism.
Yesterday I wrote about the production history of Red Dawn, and mostly talked about how the plot was immensely improbable and how the film industry is all about money, et cetera. What I did not at all dwell on was the potential of the film to bring out racism in people, similar [but not at all comparable] to the abuse of Middle Eastern Americans after what happened on 9/11.
The following are a few of the tweets that particularly stood out to me:
Kinda wanna kill some Asians right now and defend the homeland, thank you Red Dawn for sparking some patriotism in me
The only reason Im going to see red dawn is cause there’s sexy ass guys running around with guns killing Asians my type of movie;)!
I now hate all Chinese, Japanese, Asian, Korean people. Thanks. #reddawn #amazingmoviedoe
Red dawn was sickkk..just another reason why to hate asians.
This is like when racist Hunger Games fans tweeted about how the casting of a character as Black ruined the movie for them. The difference between that situation and this one is that I feel directly targeted.
One of the tweets, by @elysse223, reads “I usually love Asians, but in Red Dawn I found them terrifying.” After reading that I almost immediately felt worse, like both me and everyone else like me had been transformed into inhuman movie monsters.
The only consolation I can take in all this is that the film is being almost universally panned. Liam Lacey, reviewing the film for The Globe and Mail, says “Red Dawn panders to the worst kind of racist and jingoist impulses, though the movie is so preposterously insincere, it feels like those adjectives should be in air quotes.” Over at Indiewire Gabe Toro describes the film as “stitched together with scotch tape and falling apart at the seams, letting casual racism and misanthropy to spill out the sides.”
I honestly don’t have a lot to say except that I’m angry, hurt, and somewhat unsurprised that this is what audience members all over America are choosing to take away from this movie. I am Asian and I am not evil. I do not want to take over America. I do not want to ever feel like this: