Prominent Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson’s accusations of racism against the creators of the upcoming film “War for the Planet of the Apes” quickly backfired Monday night.
In two since-deleted tweets, Mckesson slammed the movie’s creators for “dehumanizing” him and associating black people with apes. The indictment from the liberal protester came in response to a new poster for the movie, which depicts one of the apes wearing a blue vest.
Mckesson and some other social media users assumed the vest must be a veiled reference to the Black Lives Matter leader, who is known for donning similar outerwear.
— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) July 10, 2017
Another Twitter user, who describes himself as a “black activist,” said white supremacy is “so deeply complicit in the movies America sees.”
Mckesson, apparently offended at the perceived slight against his efforts as a progressive activist, shot off two tweets disparaging the summer blockbuster’s creators for their “lack of consciousness.”
“Given the history of rendering black people as apes, I’m offended & appalled by the lack of consciousness in Hollywood. #PlanetOfTheApes,” Mckesson wrote. “In associating black people w/ apes, active work is being done to perpetuate the dehumanization of black ppl in mass media.”
How big of a narcissist do you have to be to think a blockbuster franchise is targeting you personally & not paying homage to original film? pic.twitter.com/3alxOh1gX1
— T. Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) July 11, 2017
It didn’t take long for Twitter users — even those friendly to the Black Lives Matter movement — to suggest that accusing the movie’s creators of mocking Mckesson might be a bit of a stretch.
In fact, a simple YouTube search reveals that many of the apes in the original 1968 “Planet of the Apes” movie wore blue vests. This latest iteration of the film franchise is likely nothing more than a reference to the original movie.
Robby Starbuck, a Hollywood producer and director, was quick to point out that fact in a series of tweets.
You're outraged because they're recreating the look of the original ape in 1968. You don't own wearing blue vests man. Grow up. pic.twitter.com/XF9b0DurVt
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) July 11, 2017
Starbuck went on to write: “There’s some serious narcissism involved in assuming a film w/ hundreds of millions at stake would think about how they might offend DeRay.”
If Mckesson’s claims are accurate, the “Planet of the Apes” franchise must have started mocking the activist all the way back in 1968, which was 17 years before he was born in 1985 and 45 years before the Black Lives Matter movement started in 2013.