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“I’m Not In It And It Was Exhausting” Film Critic Bashed For ‘Racist’ Review Of Pixar’s Turning Red

“I’m Not In It And It Was Exhausting” Film Critic Bashed For ‘Racist’ Review Of Pixar’s Turning Red

The managing director of CinemaBlend, Sean O’Connell, said the film was made for the Asian director, her family and friends.

Adeline Leong

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The new Pixar film Turning Red is a coming-of-age story about a 13-year-old Chinese Canadian girl named Mei who lives in Toronto. She discovers that she can turn into a giant red panda whenever she’s overcome with emotions.

What was supposed to be a nice story received a ‘racist’ and ‘sexist’ review from CinemaBlend’s managing director Sean O’Connell.

Some Pixar films are made for a universal audience. #TurningRed is not. The target audience for this one feels very specific, and very narrow. If you are in it, this might work well for you. I am not in it. This was exhausting.

CinemaBlend Managing Director Sean O’Connell wrote this in a tweet that accompanied his review.

In the article, he said the film is specifically made for the Asian director, her friends and her family members.

I recognized the humour in the film, but connected with none of it. By rooting ‘Turning Red’ very specifically in the Asian community of Toronto, the film legitimately feels like it was made for [director] Domee Shi’s friends and immediate family members. Which is fine — but also, a tad limiting in its scope.

CinemaBlend Managing Director Sean O’Connell.

Senior Editor of Backstage Vinnie Mancuso said that it was a terrible criticism by O’Connell.

Due to the backlash online and by members of the press, O’Connell’s review has since been taken down from CinemaBlend’s website.

We failed to properly edit this review, and it never should have gone up. We have unpublished it and assigned to someone else. We have also added new levels of editorial oversight. Thank you to everyone who spoke up.

CinemaBlend Editor-In-Chief Mack Rawden.

O’Connell also issued an apology on Twitter and said he didn’t explain his point of view well but appreciated the feedback.

Despite pulling the review, not everyone was satisfied with how the matter was being managed.

According to Variety, Entertainment Weekly digital editor Yolanda Machado pointed out that the article was written by a Managing Director and no amount of editing could erase the racist tone.

How did netizens react?

Netizens wasted no time to point out how flawed O’Connell’s movie review was.

A netizen said that it was interesting to see somebody’s reaction to a movie that wasn’t “made for them” while someone else said they could just relate to the characters as people too.

Most netizens poked fun at O’Connell, specifically when he wrote that he couldn’t fully enjoy the film because he shared nothing in common with the character.

Another netizen added that learning about different cultures should be fun and just require some effort to learn if it’s something new to you.

This was exemplified by a fellow film critic Dan Murrell who shared that the fact that he shared nothing in common with the characters was the reason why he loved the movie.

At the end of the day, the issue once again showed how important it is to welcome and celebrate different stories in media.


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