Sunday 25 September 2016

Star Wars features a 'horny space slug' - BBC blunder as Twitter hoaxer is invited on air

BBC World Service listeners heard 'student Godfrey Elfwick' denounce Star Wars as racist, homophobic, anti-feminist and featuring a 'horny space slug'

Anita Singh

Published 20/04/2015 | 07:57

Harrison Ford and Chewy in Star Wars
Harrison Ford and Chewy in Star Wars

The BBC World Service has admitted falling victim to a hoaxer who informed listeners that the Star Wars films are homophobic and that Darth Vader is “a bad racial stereotype” who listens to rap music.

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Twitter user Godfrey Elfwick caught the attention of BBC producer Angela Sheeran. She was preparing an item about the new trailer for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens and looking for people who claimed never to have seen any of the films.

Failing to spot the absurdity of his tweet – or the Twitter bio in which he describes himself as a “demisexual genderqueer Muslim atheist” – Sheeran invited him to appear on the World Have Your Say programme, where he gave a po-faced assessment of the franchise’s socio-political failings.

“From what I’ve seen of the old Star Wars films, there’s a lot of social problems with them rooted in homophobia, casual racial stereotypes,” he said.

Referring to C-3PO and Darth Vader by the wrong names, he went on: “The gold robot – C-25 or whatever he’s called – is a camp, neurotic coward.

“The only main female ends up in a space bikini chained to a horny space slug.

“The main bad guy – what’s he called, Dark Raider? – is black, he has a deep voice, he listens to rap music – it’s just a really bad racial stereotype.”

Elfwick said the franchise “reeked of misogyny” and that film-makers Disney should stick to “strong feminist” films like The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.

Star Wars: Episode VI, Return of the Jedi - Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia
Star Wars: Episode VI, Return of the Jedi - Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia
C3PO

It was unclear if presenter Chloe Tilley had caught on to the joke, first reported on Breitbart.com, but she gamely ploughed on. A second guest on Friday's show, a London cab driver who appeared genuinely never to have seen Star Wars, gave perfectly sensible answers.

Elfwick also provided his assessment of the new trailer, dismissing it as “very low quality” and concluding: “It’s just going to be more of the same and I don’t think the world needs more of it at this time.”

The very best (intense and nonchalant) reactions to the Star Wars: The Force Awakens new trailer  

A BBC spokesman said: “On this occasion, the Force was not with us.

“The guest presented himself as a 20-year-old who’s never seen Star Wars, and we put him on air under that pretence.

“WHYS producers always do their best to check guests in a live programme that invites global discussion from listeners.”

Sheeran has deleted her tweet inviting Elfwick on to the show.

Telegraph.co.uk

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