THE ACOLYTE Star Amandla Stenberg On Welcoming Criticism But Not "Death Threats" And "Violent Racist Language"

THE ACOLYTE Star Amandla Stenberg On Welcoming Criticism But Not "Death Threats" And "Violent Racist Language"

The Acolyte star Amandla Stenberg has opened up on some of the negative backlash she's faced for taking centre stage in the latest Star Wars TV series, condemning those who have take things too far...

By JoshWilding - Jul 10, 2024 11:07 AM EST
Filed Under: Star Wars

The Acolyte was hit by wave after wave of negative reviews before it even launched on Disney+. While we've seen plenty of legitimate complaints since then, a sticking point for some has unfortunately been the show's inclusive cast and crew.

During a recent appearance on The View, lead star Amandla Stenberg was asked by the show's hosts about being targeted by "some in the right-wing" and addressed what she's previously described as "intolerable racism" (an issue also faced by Obi-Wan Kenobi star Moses Ingram). 

"It’s been very painful to me. It's not something that I think you can emotionally prepare for," Stenberg said (via "[We] welcome criticism of the show when it comes to storytelling or performance. But when it comes to death threats, horrific, violent racist language, it’s unacceptable to me."

"And I’ve had to think really deep and hard about when you display discipline and when you display honor. And I guess what I mean by that is when do you decide to utilize discipline to not engage in a reactive way to hatred and when do you decide to engage in honor by honoring your values and your belief system."

"In this case, I decided that was the most important thing to me, to be vocal because I think that silence can send a message as well," she noted, referring to a music video shared on her social media accounts last month. "And inaction can be very dangerous."

"And so, well, I dropped a diss track...I dropped a diss track about it...and it’s called 'Discourse' and it really is about, of course, what I’ve been experiencing, but it’s also about the divisiveness of the culture and how difficult for all of us now to navigate information in this new era. It’s so difficult to tell what is true, you know, online."

"These online algorithms they shape our realities and our thinking and clickbait journalism and these algorithms also profit from our rage and our hatred," Stenberg added. "And I feel like that’s something we are aware of, but we don’t necessarily have enough discourse or infrastructure around because it’s so new."

We still don't know whether any potential "review-bombing" has had an impact on The Acolyte's viewership (yesterday evening's episode had a dismal IMDb score hours before hitting Disney+). Regardless, hearing that cast members have received death threats makes it clear that some people are taking their dislike of the series too far.

Ultimately, The Acolyte is unlikely to go down as a classic Star Wars story - "Choice" really should have been combined with "Destiny" as a single 50-minute episode - but the discourse seems to have taken an undeniably nasty turn since its launch. In some corners of the internet, the same is already happening to Agatha All Along

You can watch the full interview with Stenberg below.

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SonOfAGif - 7/10/2024, 11:38 AM
The Acolyte aside, People in general don't understand how to separate the character from the actor. The actor who plays Sir Criston Cole had to limit his social media comments and presence because he was getting horrific death threats for the character. These are human beings performing and completing a job. The character, writing, directing, and plots have nothing to do with the actor. You can hate the character but why attack the actor?
Vigor - 7/10/2024, 11:44 AM
@SonOfAGif - goes to show how well that actor embodied Cristina cole
CoHost - 7/10/2024, 11:59 AM
@SonOfAGif - Can someone think of the poor actors?
SonOfAGif - 7/10/2024, 12:10 PM
@CoHost - They're human beings just like you. Just because they are paid a higher wage for their roles doesn't negate the fact that no human being should have to be threatened with death for a role they played.
MrDandy - 7/10/2024, 11:39 AM
This show has really done her dirty. She has shown she is a good actress in other stuff but the writing and direction makes her look horrible here. I think we call that the Hayden Christensen effect.
McMurdo - 7/10/2024, 12:05 PM
@MrDandy - ?si=uUMh-Y2Ykv1s9gIO

"There are so many brilliant women out there.....none of them are on the View".
DarthAlgar - 7/10/2024, 12:08 PM
@McMurdo - If hell truly is real, then there's now doubt that The View is streamed down there on loop.
mountainman - 7/10/2024, 12:13 PM
@McMurdo - Tim Dillon is one of the funniest people alive and is a gift to humanity.

The View is a group of horrible women who are wrong about everything and anybody who watches that show is objectively making the world worse by promulgating their terrible views.
McMurdo - 7/10/2024, 12:24 PM
@mountainman - its so fun watching those hard-intersectional "leftists" whine about him and then someone lets them know he's gay and is fairly anti-Israel (condemns Oct 7 cuz he isn't completely batshit) and then their worlds crumble...because nuance has no place in these types of discussions. You gotta love those individuals who break that normative culture war way of thinking.
mountainman - 7/10/2024, 12:27 PM
@McMurdo - I don’t know his views on this, but I find it acceptable to condemn Oct 7th and the bombing of innocents in Gaza. The whole Isreal thing reminds me of the abortion discussion where you aren’t allowed to have a nuanced view and so many people only want to all the way on one side or the other.
ObserverIO - 7/10/2024, 12:56 PM
@MrDandy - Hayden Christensen was [frick]ing terrible. They gave him too much, poor dude should be doing Hallmark romcoms, Anakin was just too big for him.

Amandla Stenberg is actually pretty good as both of her characters.
mountainman - 7/10/2024, 12:58 PM
@McMurdo - Hamas is terrible but I cannot condone the killing of innocents. The top way to create more terrorists in the future is to kill innocents today.

But according to some people, me saying this is anti-semitic 🙄

Back to Tim Dillon, he does get some protection in the stuff he says because he is gay. I’m sure they’ll call him a traitor to gays or a fake gay or something.

His bit on Disney adults was hilarious!
Blergh - 7/10/2024, 1:24 PM
@DarthAlgar - to be fair the Joe Rogan experience would come right after and complete the Circle Jerk of insufferable hosts
Apophis71 - 7/10/2024, 1:25 PM
@mountainman - Yup, why there was some concerted efforts to use the Good Friday agreemant of N.I. as a template to peace with Isreal/Palestine which unfortunately fell through. UK kinda proved the point that a century or more of increased military presence to counter terrorism tends to just increase the resiliance and prevalance of extremist ideologies.

That isn't excusing terrorism cos that s#!t should always be condemned, but only to say that you need to understand the where, why and how terrorism grows from to work out how to counter it long term otherwise it's just like Hydra, cut off one head two grow back and the 'good guy' can end up looking worse than the 'bad guy' if looking at things in a polarised way sans nuance.
Blergh - 7/10/2024, 1:26 PM
@mountainman - I'm arguing you can't really take any side in a conflict where neither faction involved sees a world in which the other still exists. Israel isn't exactly keen on letting Palestine exist and neither is Hamas with Israel. So until then there's only one way: intervene and enforce peace. Might sound super problematic but what's the option? Let Israel annihilate Palestine or the arabic world annihilate Israel? Neither should be on the table
mountainman - 7/10/2024, 1:36 PM
@Blergh @Apophis71

This is why I typically don’t engage in discussions around Isreal and Palenstine.

I just don’t want innocent people to die. And frankly both sides have killed innocents. I’ve researched the history and know that these issues go back thousands of years, and the current conflict stems from 1947 (and really the late 1800’s but that is just too complex to get into).

It’s not an easy issue and there is no easy solutions. But frankly with this current round of this old conflict, I didn’t want the innocents to die or get abducted on 10/7 and I also don’t want innocents to die in Gaza.

But too many people want you to be hardline one side or the other.

I just with my American tax dollars weren’t being spent on both sides, since that is the thing I have the most direct influence over (even though my influence is minimal and can only be contacting my representatives and voting for/against certain politicians).

War is as old as mankind and it’ll likely never go away. I wish it could. I want it to. But human history is filled with it.
Apophis71 - 7/10/2024, 1:44 PM
@mountainman - For sure
McMurdo - 7/10/2024, 1:45 PM
@mountainman - absolutely and I'm pretty sure many feel he pretends to be gay for that clout already. I've seen people make such comments online at least. He's one of the most fun comedians right now though certainly.
mountainman - 7/10/2024, 1:50 PM
@McMurdo - If its a bit/act, dude has been sticking with it for a LONG time.
McMurdo - 7/10/2024, 1:52 PM
@Blergh - you raise a solid point but it wasn't Israel who invaded and slaughtered innocent's in October. The fact that so many died goes to show you that it's not as if the IDF was policing the border regions well, if at all. I mean giving Palestinians Gaza is by no means some immense gesture of kindness but only one sides voted in government is chanting from the river to the sea. But that's also no to say the West Bank situation is right either. Grape farmers whom have farmed that land for decades shouldn't have to abandon their homes so that Israel can police further. But Israel is completely surrounded by countries and governments who are desperate to wipe them off the earth so. I dunno. It's never going to get better.
MrDandy - 7/10/2024, 6:29 PM
@ObserverIO - Clearly have never seen Shattered Glass
ObserverIO - 7/11/2024, 4:20 AM
@MrDandy - User Comment Image
Malatrova15 - 7/10/2024, 11:41 AM
Well suck it buttercup. You wanted money abd cars but no work...endure this or open an OF are whinning but ask Jennifer Lawrence how hard this was in Weinstein times.
Origame - 7/10/2024, 11:47 AM
@Malatrova15 - she doesn't even need to. Her father is super rich.
Malatrova15 - 7/10/2024, 11:54 AM
@Origame - uugh... Trump cant come back soon enough.
DarthAlgar - 7/10/2024, 11:57 AM
@Malatrova15 - Don't think so, pal. We're getting our walking dead president! 🤬🤬🤬
grendelthing - 7/10/2024, 12:10 PM
@Malatrova15 - Suck it up for death threats over a show? What the f*ck is wrong with you people?
thewanderer - 7/10/2024, 12:18 PM
@grendelthing - plenty it seems.
JimMoriarty - 7/10/2024, 6:57 PM
@Malatrova15 - keep waiting and waiting for this site to notice this idiot. First he mispells on perpose(troll) then he or she has this misguided opinion, please stop this per
Malatrova15 - 7/10/2024, 8:12 PM
@JimMoriarty - please dont call anyone an idiot..thats against the rules man.
Be civil or dont be at all.
Save the world my final message
Toonstrack - 7/12/2024, 10:58 AM
@grendelthing - keep in mind most of these folks call themselves Christians too
blackiron777 - 7/10/2024, 11:42 AM
These articles lol I mean I get it. Josh reminds me of Brian Krassenstein on X.
mountainman - 7/10/2024, 12:14 PM
@blackiron777 - Always wrong and blowing things out of proportion to promote biased views?
Origame - 7/10/2024, 11:46 AM
I'm still waiting for these people to actually address any of the criticism instead about whining about the "bigots".

And ffs, we're never gonna take the concept of death threats seriously if you're not gonna provide receipts. Like, this is seriously the first time we're hearing about death threats pertaining to anyone on the show. She didn't even mention this in her diss track.
Oberlin4Prez - 7/10/2024, 11:49 AM
@Origame - thank you.
ComicBookPsycho - 7/10/2024, 11:52 AM
@Origame - They don't need to address any criticism as long as they're not shutting them down.

Also, death threats can be sent privately, you know?
Malatrova15 - 7/10/2024, 11:55 AM
@ComicBookPsycho - no they cant. Death treaths are public always
Origame - 7/10/2024, 11:57 AM
@ComicBookPsycho - I mean, they basically are when they're constantly telling us the fans are the problem with star wars.

And so what if the death threats are sent privately? She has them. All she needs to do is post them then boom. Proof she was sent death threats.

When star wars theory was sent death threats after the wookieepedia drama, he didn't just send out a comment claiming he got death threats. He showed the death threats.
Itwasme - 7/10/2024, 12:01 PM
@Origame - don't you think that just gives power to the people making the threats? It's the same reason why sports broadcasters stopped showing when fans run on the field - they found by giving them the spotlight it only encouraged their behavior more.
Origame - 7/10/2024, 12:04 PM
@Itwasme - well, she already gave them that power by bringing up the death threats in the first place.

For the sports casters, do you think they actually bring up the idiot running onto the field?
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