Ghost in the Shell will hit theaters in just over two weeks, and fans of the original, as well as online observers, are already gearing up for a fight. Paramount recently launched an online campaign to promote the film at IAmMajor.me, allowing anyone to upload photos of themselves and add bold, affirmative statements like “I Am The Best At Nickelrolling.” It was supposed to be some light fun.
It did not go well. Instead, fans took to Twitter to highlight how the film not only whitewashes Motoko Kusanagi, but also how it is also an example of white feminism:
The Ghost in the Shell Website https://t.co/eqy8CpndC6 has a meme maker of sorts where anyone could "become Major" so I had some fun.... pic.twitter.com/EadKs04H9a— VzA (@ValerieComplex) March 11, 2017
@ValerieComplex pic.twitter.com/ISxyJPpYpl— Seoul Patch (서울페츠) (@DLohRidah) March 12, 2017
It didn’t stop there. Using the #IAmMajor hashtag, users also used the tool to mock other movies and TV shows guilty of whitewashing and using the white savior trope, like Dragonball Evolution, The Last Airbender, and Iron Fist:
@ValerieComplex pic.twitter.com/Kx1499fong— pcrews (@gleebix) March 12, 2017
@ValerieComplex pic.twitter.com/5jIeMnLpDH— 🛌Tina🥄 (@Nice_White_Lady) March 12, 2017
@weimingkam @KellyKanayama @helpmeskeletor @JennLi123 pic.twitter.com/LMSKxFFNp7— VzA (@ValerieComplex) March 12, 2017
Sorry, Paramount. When the fun your viral campaign brings is largely at your expense, then something might just be wrong. Ghost in the Shell debuts on March 31st.