Star Wars Protest Butchered by Piss-Poor Reporting

Sometimes professional journalists cant find their ass from a hole in the ground. This is usually because of a pressing deadline to get the story out, or simply a lack of interest in the story. The most recent example of this lapse of quality is brought to you by Borys Kit and Gregg Goldstein from the Hollywood Reporter who reported on a protest by some Star Wars fans on Friday.

Maybe it was the fact that they had to work on a Friday afternoon. Maybe it was the fact that in their rush to get the story out and get to their weekends, they screwed up the facts.

Or maybe they just didnt care enough to get the story straight.

Here are the facts: On Friday, Some Star Wars fans decided to protest the fact that a film based around Star Wars fans was delayed being released. The fans protested in front of theaters playing "Superhero Movie" in both Los Angeles and New York, since the film is owned by the same company. (The Weinstein co.)

However it wasn't a real organized effort. In NY, ony one person showed up in costume and in LA, the protesters made the mistake of protesting in a mall, where they were quickly shut down by the mall stormtroopers. (Here's a little protesting tip: always protest on public property and not someplace where rent-a-cops have jurisdiction.)

Now, what is interesting about this is just how badly the Hollywood Reporter was at reporting on this issue.

Here is a section from the HR article, via Yahoo Entertainment:

Protesters, organized by a fan group calling itself the 501st, showed up in "Star Wars" gear on Friday at AMC Theatres in New York and Los Angeles that were playing "Superhero Movie."

They want to draw attention to the fate of "Fanboys," about four diehard "Star Wars" fans who break into George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch in order to see "The Phantom Menace" on the eve of its release. The film was originally set for the release last August, but a cancer storyline worried Weinstein, which shot a second version of the film. Fans were outraged.

This information was mostly accurate. The "501st" as the article mentions, refers to the 501st Legion: a dedicated group of Star Wars costume enthusiasts that work hard to put together accurate costumes from the various films. They have been featured quite prominently at several conventions, and if you are at all a Star Wars fan, seeing an entire squadron of stormtroopers in gleaming white armor surrounding a highly-accurate Darth Vadar character, is truly an impressive sight. The photo on the right is from their appearance in the Rose Parade in Pasadena.

However, what the HR article got wrong was the fact that the 501st had absolutely nothing to do with the protest.

As a result, they have had to post the following statement on their website:

"The 501st Legion is not involved as an organization in any protests, boycotts, or movements related to the film Fanboys, nor do we have an opinion or position on the film (which has not yet been released). A few of our more than 4,000 members in 47 countries participated in the project, and accordingly may have their personal opinions about the current issues surrounding the project. But their participation in this film was not coordinated through or sanctioned by the Legion. Our organization is an all-volunteer costuming club that focuses on official Star Wars promotions and charity work. Mounting protests is counter to the Legion's mission and would detract from the time and energy that we currently devote to more meaningful causes.
OK, so a couple of fanboys dressed up in Star Wars costumes and made the mistake of mentioning that they were part of the 501st. This information was quickly snatched up by Borys Kit and Gregg Goldstein, who, then totally missed the point and ran with it. One thing led to another and by the time the article made it to press, the facts were completly screwed up.

I for one applaud the work of the 501st and appreciate what they do for the community of fans that love the Star Wars cannon.

Its a shame that Boyrs and Gregg couldnt get their story straight.


Anonymous said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Huzzah for trying to bring to light the gross errors of many website reports on this whole Weinstein drama.

The Judge said...

My pleasure.

Long live Vader's Fist!

TK3375 said...

Kudos to the Judge !

At least someone got it right ;)

Thanks a lot on behalf of the Legion !

Romain - TK 3375

Anonymous said...

Good job clearing up some misinformation! The parts we still don't know are what the anti-Weinstein protesters told the reporters and how diligent the reporters were at verifying what they were being fed. If 2 or 3 protesters all told the same story and said that they were speaking on behalf of the 501st Legion, then the fault is primarily theirs rather than the reporters. I'm grateful to the Judge, but I'd say that when it comes to assigning blame, the jury is still out.

The Judge said...

My guess is that it probably went something like this:

A couple of guys show up in armor...

Reporter: wow, those are some fantastic outfits! Are you part of a club?

Protester 1: yeah, the 501st.

Reporter: That's really cool. So why are you here protesting?

And from that point forward, the reporter assumed that because they said they were part of the 501st, the dots were connected and the reporter assumed that the 501st was running the protest.

Its a shame, really. I have always appreciated the hard work and dedication of the 501st Legion and its totally not fair that they have been branded as protest organizers in a half-assed attempt to complain about a glorified fan film.

Has the Hollywood Reporter posted a retraction? of course not. Not that anyone would see it, anyway, since they would probably burry it on page 30.

Hollywood Dump on Facebook

In addition to the articles we post here, we also link to stories we think are interesting and post them to our Facebook page. If you're on FB, become a fan!