Star Wars

Long, Long Ago, in a Galaxy Far, Far Away, a Star Wars Actor Wore an Atlas Shrugged T-Shirt

And people have opinions about that.


Oh, look, another bizarre, ginned up social media outrage of people offended over something stupid. Actually, despite the existence of news media stories, I'm not even entirely certain the "outrage" is true.

Let's step back a moment. So, there's this new movie out, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. You may have heard of it. Its actors are now in the process of becoming big stars, and so everybody is absorbing every single detail about their past.

One of the actors, Oscar Isaac, plays one of the big new leads, Poe Dameron, the ace pilot seemed destined to romance ex-stormtrooper Finn in upcoming installments (do not try to dissuade me from this—it was obviously love at first sight). Isaac is a pretty established actor, and somebody found a picture of him in front of a billboard for one of his previous movies five years ago.

But! He was wearing a T-shirt for Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged in the picture. THE HORRORS! THE HORRORS! They have a crush on a guy who might be a libertarian or objectivist!

Well, maybe (for both the outrage and whether Isaac is even an Objectivist). There were a bunch of online media posts in the vein of "People on Tumblr and Twitter Are Really Upset About This!" What these stories seem to have in common is they find somewhere between five to 10 social media posts that are upset and then declare this is a thing that is actually happening. Remember the handful of Twitter racists upset over Finn being black? They were just random folks, and clearly their attitudes had absolutely no impact on the film's success, yet here's The Daily Beast writing about them back in the day. There are racist people on the Internet, y'all!

The Daily Dot's piece (which has been refracted and bounced through other media sites) has the same tenor. A handful of people are seemingly disappointed that Isaac may be an objectivist or a Rand fan. This is characterized as a "Tumblr meltdown."

I find the idea hilarious. I can only imagine what Rand might actually say about the responses were she still around. There's a handful of people so out of tune with their own sense of entitlement that they do not grasp that without a robust capitalistic society focused on meeting the needs of recreational consumers, they would have no idea who Oscar Isaac is, and not only would there be no Star Wars movies (seriously is there a bigger example of American capitalism than the country-sized economy created by the Star Wars series and its merchandising?), they would not have the social media platforms to complain that a celebrity might just have a different view of the world from them.

But then again, it's still not entirely clear that there even is any outrage, or whether it's phony outrage media outlets are playing up in blog posts just for page views (like this one!). One of the tweeters who said she felt "deeply betrayed" subsequently said she was joking after her tweet got inexplicable media attention.

Regardless, the story took on a life of its own based on absolutely nothing but a single picture. If you need somebody to call the image "problematic" for you, The Mary Sue's got you covered. Salon is there to tell you what it means when you discover your "Internet boyfriend" isn't like you after all. Somebody even started a Libertarians for Oscar Isaac Facebook page, again with no real knowledge that Isaac actually is a libertarian other than a picture of him wearing a shirt.

Well, at least it's not one of those goddamned Che Guevara shirts.