Ben Shapiro’s The Last of Us criticism is even more ridiculous than his Glass Onion complaint

Controversial US commentator is at it again

Jacob Stolworthy
Wednesday 08 February 2023 11:34 GMT
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The Last of Us official trailer

Ben Shapiro has once again been met with ridicule, this time over his criticism ofThe Last of Us.

The American conservative commentator has given his verdict on the acclaimed HBO series, which is an adaptation of Neil Druckmann’s video game.

While the first two episodes were praised for their depiction of the post-apocalyptic world, it was episode three that drew particular acclaim for zoning in on the story of two men – Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett) who meet and find love following the fall of civilisation.

What did Ben Shapiro say about The Last of Us?

Shapiro, 39, disliked the episode. His complaint was that “the entire episode has no zombies” and that there was “no real threat”.

He wrote on Facebook: “It is about two gay dudes who meet and have a relationship in which one grows strawberries for the other, and then they die by not being killed by zombies.

“One gets cancer and decides to essentially euthanise himself. And gay Ron Swanson decides that he is also going to commit suicide at the same time because of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ or ‘Romeo and Romeo’ in this particular case.”

He continued: “It’s all really well produced and it’s beautifully shot. However, here’s the problem with Brokeback Zombie Farm: It’s a zombie show. There are no zombies in this entire episode. There are no zombies in a zombie show. This is worth pointing out. It literally has nothing to do with the plot of the show.”

The main issue with Shapiro’s point is that the drama is not considered to be about zombies, but about the human relationships forged in the wake of an apocalyptic event.

Many are not surprised by his summary of the episode, though, as he has previous: in December, he was mocked for his verdict on Rian Johnson’s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, in which he criticised the murder mystery for subverting whodunnit tropes.

Murray Bartlett and Nick Offerman in ‘The Last of Us’

Who is Ben Shapiro?

If you’re wondering who exactly Shapiro is, all you really need to know is that he has made a career out of sharing right-wing views that he is then ridiculed for.

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The LA-born commentator studied political science at University of Los Angeles and Harvard Law School, graduating by the time he was 23.

During his time there, he began his writing career, releasing titles that raised eyebrows.

His debut book, published in 2004, claims that US universities are run by liberal elites attempting to suppress opposing points of view. It’s called Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth.

Ben Shapiro

Shapiro has since been given a platform to share his controversial views on conservative sites including The Daily Wire and Breitbart, and even had a Fox News series that was swiftly cancelled in 2018.

According to Shapiro, he was once blacklisted by Hollywood after being commissioned to write a script for a new TV show. While he never divulged details about what the show was about, he said he ultimately got rejected after being Googled by one of the agents he was working for.

“I’m not sure we can represent you, because he thinks your political views will make it impossible for you to get a job in this town,” Shapiro claims he was told – in a book complaining about left-wing individuals “taking over” Hollywood.

Shapiro claims he was “silenced by liberalism”.

All this combines to make his The Last of Us criticism – of an episode focusing on a gay romance, no less – quite suspicious.

While some may have preferred an episode heavy on action, there is no denying that the instalment, written by co-creator Craig Mazin (Chernobyl), was a masterclass that broke ground when it came to character development within the confines of a 75-minute episode of television.

Shapiro’s reviews of popular culture titles are good for two things, mind: it is entertaining to see just how much he’s missed the mark, and at least now we know how fortunate we are that his screenwriting career ended before it began.

The Independent has contacted Shapiro’s representatives for comment.

The Last of Us airs new episodes on Sundays in the US on HBO Max and the following Monday morning in the UK on Sky and NOW.

Excitingly, the next episode will drop days earlier than usual.

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