The latest Marvel show Moon Knight has come under fire for its recognition of the 1915-1917 Armenian Genocide. The throwaway line that appears in the show’s first episode has inspired some to review the show, resulting in an average user rating down to 7.4/10 on IMDb.
The Armenian Genocide is referenced by name in a scene between Oscar Isaac’s Steven Grant and antagonist Arthur Harrow, played by Ethan Hawke. Many reviews in Turkish are negative for this reason, although acknowledging that the genocide took place is still illegal in the country.
The scene in question is when Steven meets up with Arthur and talks about the sins that humanity has committed over the years. Arthur cites the Holocaust, Pol Pot’s war crimes in Cambodia, and the Armenian Genocide as examples of the sins of mankind.
Finding that the genocide took place is widely viewed as violating Turkey’s Article 301, which makes it a criminal offense to “publicly denigrate” the country of Turkey, its government, judicial system, military and police. This was used to silence journalists who say the deaths happened and were caused by the Ottoman Empire.
The backlash to the line can be seen in Moon Knight’s one-star user ratings on IMDb. A review entitled “I Hate Political Correctness” reads: Your given information about the Armenian Genocide is a complete lie. Turkish Government Archives are open to international visitors. If you accuse us of this reason, you must first of all be objective.” Another says: “There is no genocide against the Armenians, you liars[…]You should keep politics away from Super [h]ero shows”.
“Do you really think that’s true? You write a scenario with lies. please stop lying
Alternatively, the show has also received praise from others for including the line. Looking at Disney’s international market, it has been known to censor aspects of its films and shows that may cause backlash in certain regions, particularly LGBTQ+ characters. Many are pleased to see that the authors were allowed to maintain this line despite the anticipated controversy.
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