Amandla Stenberg Calls Out The Acolyte “Discourse” & Racism In Social Media Music Video

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Amandla Stenberg has responded to The Acolyte discourse with a new music video she’s shared on social media. It’s been a long time since the Star Wars fandom has felt quite so divided, with a backlash against The Acolyte that’s involved everything from review-bombing on Rotten Tomatoes to death threats against Wookipedia editors. Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy and showrunner Leslye Headland have made an open stand against racism and sexism, which they point to as a motivation for many online trolls.

The Acolyte star Amandla Stenberg celebrated Juneteenth in style with a social music video that responds to the “discourse,” as she calls it. Shared on Instagram, it includes a blow-by-blow account of how some trolls found a six-year-old interview surrounding the movie The Hate U Give, and spliced it into an attack on Stenberg and The Acolyte.

What’s Going On With The Acolyte?

As Stenberg notes, the online “discourse” on The Acolyte has been very toxic indeed. Quotes from both Leslye Headland and Stenberg herself have been ripped out of context and used to attack the show, with the most prominent being a claim Stenberg wanted it to “make white people cry.” This was actually a quote from an interview discussing The Hate U Give, and the actress’ hope was that “white people” would cry with empathy as they understood the nature of racism and police violence.

The online campaign against The Acolyte has intensified since the show’s release, with review-bombing on Rotten Tomatoes; amusingly, some of these individuals actually managed to review-bomb a 2008 movie and a 2022 fan-film by accident. The latest flashpoint has involved a cameo by Jedi Master Ki-Adi Mundi, with some insisting his appearance breaks canon. This escalated in a shocking manner, with editors of the Wookipedia wiki receiving death threats after they edited Ki-Adi-Mundi’s page to reflect his cameo.

There is undeniably a strong degree of racism and sexism in The Acolyte’s backlash. Both female Star Wars fans and fans of color have reported horrific messages, often via DM, with many describing death threats and abhorrent language. Stenberg is clearly choosing to call this out rather than bow beneath the pressure, and her decision is commendable. “To those who are flooding me with intolerable racism,” she writes, “u got 72 hours to respond, and I expect choreo!”

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