Men’s Rights Activists have called for a boycott of Mad Max: Fury Road, describing it as “feminist propaganda” and bemoaning liberal Hollywood’s attempt to undermine traditional masculinity.
The film, which stars Charlize Theron as bald-headed warrior Furiosa alongside Tom Hardy’s Mad Max, has been criticised because Theron appears to have more lines and screentime than Hardy.
Aaron Clarey, a blogger on Return of Kings website which focuses on men’s issues, wrote that he was initially excited at the “explosions, fire tornadoes [and] symphonic score of Fury Road,” because it “looked like a straight-up guy flick.”
But Clarey (who hasn't actually seen the film yet) describes being mortified when discovering from critics, who hailed Theron’s performance and the well-rounded nature of her role in the film, that Fury Road was not your average action movie.
“Charlize Theron kept showing up a lot in the trailers, while Tom Hardy (Mad Max) seemed to have cameo appearances. Theron sure talked a lot during the trailers while I don’t think I’ve heard one line from Hardy. And finally, Theron’s character barked orders to Mad Max. Nobody barks orders to Mad Max,” an obviously distressed Clarey wrote.
He claims that he and other men are being “duped by explosions, fire tornadoes and desert raiders into seeing what is guaranteed to be nothing more than feminist propaganda, while at the same time being insulted and tricked into viewing a piece of American culture ruined and rewritten right in front of their very eyes.”
Quite how American this particular piece of "American culture" is is unclear considering the film is an Australian franchise, made and directed by Australians, and whose lead actors are British (Hardy) and South African (Theron).
The MRA calling for a Mad Max boycott refers to the series as part of "American Culture." He's aware the original film is Australian, right?Il Neige (@ilneigeWWH2W) May 14, 2015
But Clarey’s blog has been roundly agreed with by some commentators who are calling on other men to boycott the film.
However, feminists of both genders have subsequently dismissed the MRAs' complaints as “hilarious” and it appears to be encouraging some people who might not have been otherwise interested to go see the film.
Apparently Mad Max is seriously angering the MRA/manchild groups so I'll be supporting whatever the opposite of a boycott is.James Moore (@foozmeat) May 14, 2015
I was already dead-set on seeing Mad Max opening day, but this men's rights boycott makes me want to see it even more. I might see it twice!Matthew D'Ambrosio (@drmattdambrosio) May 13, 2015
Learning that MRAs are calling to boycott Mad Max. I didn't really care about Mad Max before, but now I'm going to go see it. Heh.Secret Agent Meg (@JustPlainMeg) May 13, 2015
MRAs want me to boycott the new Mad Max movie. I wanted to this movie already, but I want to see it even more now.Steve Kubitz (@Munkie91087) May 12, 2015
Apparently angry stupid internet men want to boycott the new Mad Max film because it's actually really female-positive. This pleases Smiley.Sarah M (@SarahJoSmiley) May 12, 2015
British actor Hardy, who filled the shoes of Mel Gibson who played Max in George Miller’s 1979 original, said today he is “totally ready” to reprise the role for an additional two films.
The film, which premiered at Cannes this week, has received mostly positive reviews.
The Independent’s critic described it as “a very unusual re-boot” in which “Theron matches [Hardy] for sheer kickass malice and resourcefulness.”