For some of us, movies and TV shows are our only respite from the stresses of the real world – yup, everything might be terrible all the time, but at least we have a new film about the sexy, non-chocolate-centric early years of Willy Wonka coming down the pike. But as we’ve mentioned before, even the most highly-anticipated pieces of pop-culture are tied to disquieting real life controversies you might want to know about, such as how …

Captain America 3 Is Introducing A New (Racist Mossad Agent) Superhero

For those of you longing for the Marvel Cinematic Universe to weigh-in on the Israel-Palestine conflict, well good news: the upcoming Captain America movie will seemingly do just that. The film is reportedly causing a major backlash after Marvel announced that it will introduce the character of Sabra to the MCU, a “mutant Israeli police officer-turned-Mossad agent,” Keep in mind; people were already arguing passionately about Marvel movies online before this news hit, which caused “#CaptainApartheid” to trend on social media.

First appearing in 1989, Sabra was originally a “deliberate and self-conscious Israeli echo of Captain America” but is perhaps best known for the comic book in which Hulk yells at her for not giving a crap about a literal dead Palestinian child.  

Marvel

If this doesn’t sound like enough of a political third rail, the movie’s full title has raised more than a few eyebrows; Captain America: New World Order, a reference to the infamous conspiracy theory about how a shadowy group of globalists controlling the world – and historically, “antisemitic conspiracy theorists have placed Jews at the center of this cabal.” So really, pretty much everyone has a reason to be apprehensive about this movie … and it’s not like the MCU doesn’t have an odd history when it comes to tackling conspiracy theories. 

Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale Is Being Accused Of Fatphobia

Director Darren Aronofsky is no stranger to controversy, as evidenced by the fact that his last movie was an environmentalism-themed Biblical allegory featuring child cannibalism. Now his new film, The Whale, starring Brendan Fraser as a “reclusive English teacher living with severe obesity” is facing criticism from people who have seen the film – and also presumably anyone who noticed that it is literally called The Whale.

Critic Katie Rife made headlines for her reaction to the film at the Toronto International Film Festival, claiming that it “reinforces the notion that fat people are objects of pity who have brought their suffering upon themselves.”

While acclaimed by some, many other reviews were not only less critical of the film’s potentially harmful stereotypes but themselves wildly insensitive – such as this one in Variety which compares Fraser’s character to Jabba the Hutt (as did a review in The Guardian).

Even before it premiered, The Whale was the subject of controversy once word got out that Fraser would be wearing a fat suit, a long-standing practice that has understandably come under increased scrutiny in recent years, with some urging Hollywood to stop using them altogether – which would probably be for the best, not least of which because it would preemptively halt any attempts to reboot Norbit.

Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans Is Taking Heat For Using A Real Monkey

In case you couldn’t tell from how every Steven Spielberg movie features a character with major daddy issues, the famed director’s parents divorced when he was a kid. Now, Spielberg has made an autobiographical film about his own rocky childhood: The Fabelmans. Although he did change some details, giving himself and his family fake names, at least he resisted the urge to add in a bunch of goofy aliens. 

At one point in the film, Spielb– Sorry, Sam Fableman’s mother brings home a monkey as a new pet because she “needed a laugh,” a sign of her declining mental well-being (just as it was for Ross in Friends). Apparently, this too was based on a real incident from Spielberg’s youth – kind of like E.T. if E.T. routinely through his poop around the house. 

But the scene has raised the ire of animal rights group PETA, who are upset that the director used a real monkey, not a CGI one, and are now calling on Spielberg to delete said scenes, which … seems highly unlikely. But, to be fair, other experts have been calling on filmmakers to stop using real primates in movies, and prevent potential animal abuse. And digital technology (which Spielberg is no stranger to) has evolved to the point where animals need not be trotted onto film sets. Really, if old crankypuss Harrison Ford was willing to pretend that a dude in a leotard crawling on all fours was his loyal canine companion, surely anyone can do it. 

Andor Features A Blaster That’s Just An AK-47

Star Wars fans are obviously excited for Andor, the new prequel series about the early adventures of Rogue One hero Cassian Andor – hopefully they don’t pull a Solo and reveal that he got his name from, say, a grammar and punctuation guide. But when the trailer for the show hit the internet, viewers noticed that one of the characters is straight-up carrying an AK-47.

Lucasfilm

While some were reportedly upset to see a weapon that’s been used in real life mass shootings show up in a Star Wars series, others questioned: “why would a Star Wars blaster need a magazine if it shoots lasers instead of physical ammunition?” Others suggested that using a real gun was “just lazy” – and they may have a point. At the very least they could have turned the gun into some kind of funky drink dispenser, or maybe the noble leader of a planet of gun-faced aliens. 

The Little Mermaid – Racists Are So Pissed, They’re Using AI Tech To Make Characters Look White

We’re not here to defend Disney’s live-action remakes of classic animated films; The Lion King was creepy, Dumbo was unpleasant, and the recent Pinocchio would have surely been the crappiest Pinocchio movie of the year, if not for this CGI abomination starring 54-year-old Pauly Shore as the boy puppet: 

But the yet-to-be-released remake of The Little Mermaid is taking a lot of heat for the worst possible reason, receiving a deluge of attacks from bigots who are pissed off that the character of Ariel is played by Black actress and singer Halle Bailey, and not a 35-year-old doodle of Alyssa Milano

After the first trailer for the film debuted online, racist Disney fans took to social media,  “using the hashtag #notmyariel to complain about Bailey’s casting” and “Disney being overly ‘woke.’” Others tried to justify their prejudice by claiming that the casting wasn’t accurate to the original Danish story, which, incidentally features no songs about chilling under the sea, and does feature attempted murder and John McClane-levels of bleeding feet

Of course this kind of intolerant internet hissy fit seems to happen every time a person of color shows up in a big movie franchise, but this time it was taken to a whole other level of creepiness, when someone on Twitter used “AI technology” to turn Ariel into a white girl, claiming that they “fixed” the movie. 

The only way to fix this movie with computers is to fill Ariel’s dad’s underwater kingdom with its traditional CGI dildo castles.

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Thumbnail: Marvel/A24

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