Americans threw down a collective $64 million to go see American Sniper this weekend, to the delight of Warner Bros and raised-eyebrow Europeans everywhere. But despite the film’s commercial and artistic success (leading with six Academy Awards nominations), some people (many people) have criticized the film’s portrayal of Muslims and the war on terror. Recently, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) cited “an increase of serious threats made against the Arab and Muslim-American communities.”
“A majority of the violent threats we have seen over the past few days are result of how Arabs and Muslims are depicted in American Sniper. We are in receipt of hundreds of violent messages targeting Arab and Muslim Americans from the moviegoers of the film. Many of these threats are made through social media forums, such as Twitter and Facebook. The threats advocate for the murder of Arabs, some going so far as to say, “Great f**cking movie and now I really want to kill some f**kin ragheads.” In another threat a user wrote, “American sniper makes me wanna go shoot some f**kin Arabs.”
Sometimes, hate is disguised. Other times it’s delivered to you on a shiny, silvery e-platter: “American sniper makes me wanna go shoot some f**kin Arabs.” Not a shade of irony, this guy.
The ADC isn’t asking Eastwood to pull the film. Having seen what happened with The Interview, they’re fully aware that reducing a movie’s supply will only increase an audience’s demand: “If we boycott it, it will only cause people to see it more.”
The goal, Khalaf argues, is to have Cooper and Eastwood “use their visibility” to draw attention to “the serious dangers facing their respective communities.”
In a similar report released by the Society for the Advancement of Steampunk-Americans, this weekend saw a rise in the amount of “upturned mustaches” and “quixotic syllogisms” as result of Mortdecai. No word yet from producers, who refuse to see the film for obvious reasons.