A controversial new movie trailer appears to have had the opposite of its intended effect with its intended audience.
Focus Features released a trailer for its upcoming drama-comedy “The American Society of Magical Negroes” on Friday, and it did not go over well at all, if social media reactions are anything to gauge.
You can watch the trailer for yourself below:
The premise of the movie, insomuch as what can be gleaned from the trailer, appears to be a magical society of black people who exist to keep white people content.
Why do they want to keep white people content?
“What’s the most dangerous animal on the planet?” one of the key characters in the trailer asked the main protagonist.
“Sharks?” the as-of-yet unnamed main character asked.
“White people,” the mentor figure stated. “When they feel uncomfortable. White people feeling uncomfortable precedes a lot of bad stuff for us.
“That’s why we fight white discomfort everyday.”
The trailer then shows a magical “white tears” meter appearing next to a white police officer. The implication appears to be that “white tears” can hit critical mass, and thus black people must work to prevent that from happening.
Later on in the trailer, it appears to introduce a conflict when the protagonist begins to fall in love with someone he’s supposed to be making happier — an apparent no-no for this magical society.
The immediate reaction to the YouTube trailer was not pretty.
“It’s nice to see so many of us come together to express how disappointing and terrible just the concept of this is and how baffling it is that it was ever made,” the top liked comment on the YouTube trailer read.
Another YouTube comment called out the movie’s director, Kobi Libii.
“I get it now. This is how we stop racism,” the comment began. “By making modern entertainment media so terrible that we all come together trash it. Thank you Kobi Libii, your lack of creative talent has brought us all together!”
Reactions were not any better when Huffington Post Sr. Editor Philip Lewis posted the trailer on X.
No, how do we as a community get this film cancelled? pic.twitter.com/5FDSR5m6Is
— ⛩ÍƙⓄΠ⛩ (@iKoniK_Drip) December 15, 2023
“No, how do we as a community get this film cancelled?” one X user asked, alongside a meme captioned with “[collective Black disapproval.]”
Another X user was upset that it appears the black protagonist will fall in love with a white character:
So the black man couldn’t resist her huh …imma sit this one out. pic.twitter.com/iODLXgR7ec
— TiiL (@MzTeel) December 15, 2023
Yet another X user lamented that she thought she was getting a historically black college/university version of “Harry Potter.”
I was so excited this was going to be HBCU HOGWARTS but then to center being magical around making yt people happy??? It could’ve been great. pic.twitter.com/OSBG3XwwPi
— kat ✨ (@KittyyyKatJ) December 15, 2023
“I was so excited this was going to be HBCU HOGWARTS,” the X user bemoaned.
It’s worth calling out that the “magical negro” is a long-established literary and film trope meant to describe a character that specifically exists to support white characters.
The movie appears to be trying to turn that trope on its head, but it’s clearly not resonating with swathes of social media users.
The racially charged film is currently boasting a March 22, 2024, release date.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.