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Kal Kamel, the Imagination Connoisseur known through the PGS as “S’wak Props” writes in with his analysis of how those who are critical of some genre franchises are, in turn, subjected to fan criticism as well. Who knew naval gazing could be a full-contact sport?

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Hi Rob,

So apparently, if you hate Star Trek Discovery, you get labelled a “racist”, just like if you hate the Disney Trilogy, you get labelled a “sexist” and a “misogynist.” I find that those who usually employ those labels to defend the said franchises to be of a certain demographic who also love using the phrase “OK boomer!” against their critics, even if the critics are just a few years older.

I despise the use of such “talk to hand” sort of retort, as they are shallow and are often resorted to when the defenders are reluctant to argue the merits of the critic’s arguments whether they are valid or not, possibly because they lack the knowledge or wit to rebut them.

I admit there are certain segments who hate on Discovery and the Disney Trilogy because they are actually racists or sexists, but for the defenders to throw those accusations to anybody and everybody who criticizes these franchises is simply wrong.

A lot of fan criticism relates to the way these series or movies are haphazardly written and how they fail to do justice to their predecessors. There’s hardly anything racist or sexist about that.

There have always been fan criticism in both Star Wars and Star Trek for as long as I can remember. Back in the day, online forums were active with fans arguing for and against the Prequels when they came out, or criticizing the first two seasons of Enterprise because of Berman and Braga’s direction for the show.

I don’t remember anyone leveling accusations of racism or sexism back then; most arguments centered on the writing of or characterization in the Prequels or Enterprise.

I can’t help but think these new forms of defense are conjured up and encouraged by the people behind the creation of these new iterations of the franchises. Lest we forget, JJ Abrams himself called those who are critical of Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi “misogynistic” and “threatened be female characters.”

When Discovery made a lukewarm debut back in 2017, star Jason Isaacs claimed the critics were probably upset “that there is a woman lead, or a woman of color lead, or that there’s a diverse platform for every gender and sexuality” and that “those people can go fuck themselves.” And just last year, Tim Miller said that Terminator Dark Fate will “scare the fuck out of misogynists” because the film featured female lead characters, even before the film’s release.

Dark Fate subsequently bombed of course, and I don’t think its because it featured female leads, but rather, because it just wasn’t that good a movie.

So naturally the majority of fans who defend these franchises would echo the sentiment of these filmmakers and use the same labels of “sexist” and “racist” against all their detractors, regardless of the nature of the criticism. It really doesn’t make for a healthy or even constructive discussion.

That’s why its always great to hear some fans like Sean Poulin who actually defend Discovery by arguing its merits, rather than just resort to the shallow retort of “you’re a racist” or “you’re a misogynist.” And kudos to you too for letting his voice be heard on your show.

Unfortunately, with the current “woke” climate, I don’t see this going away any time soon. Unless and until filmmakers like JJ Abrams own up to the flaws of their films and respond to valid criticism without resorting to labelling disappointed fans as “racists” and “sexists”, the fanbase that are loyal to them will continue to use the same shallow line of argument.

I just hope we in the Post Geek Singularity Community continue on with our brand of healthy discourse and constructive discussion of our favourite films and franchises without ever stooping down to such shallow behaviour.

Best regards,
Kal a.k.a. S’wak Props