The premise behind the upcoming “Karen” plays out like a woke cinema … on steroids.
Taryn Manning plays the title character, a racist who terrorize her black neighbors, with help from her racist cop brother. The film co-stars Cory Hardrict and Jasmine Burke under the direction of Coke Daniels (“Hollywont”).
The trailer touches on police brutality, micro-aggressions, Confederate flags and more. The title character, of course, plays into the social media meme of meddling white women with a dash of bigotry.
Little in the trailer is subtle, although the film has yet to officially screen.
The film’s star shared why she joined the project.
“I felt a social responsibility to take on this role. Even if I had to play the villain to affect change around the globe, then I was more than willing to step into the role. What’s been going on is devastating. It’s time for change and for me to be a part of the bigger picture, meant a lot to me,” Manning, best known for “Orange Is the New Black,” said.
That didn’t stop the Twitter mob from harassing the film, most notably from the Left. Count Vanity Fair among the aggrieved parties. “We Would Like to Speak With the Manager About Cringey Horror Movie Karen,” goes the snark-filled headline. The accompanying story is even more cutting.
Karen’s apparently complete lack of nuance when it comes to depicting racism and white privilege instantly drew social media scorn. Shortly after the trailer dropped this week, Jordan Peele and his Oscar-winning feature Get Out began trending as the Twitterverse pointed out that the complexity in Peele’s horror satire was nowhere to be found in the Karen trailer.
Twitter users, Vanity Fair noted, brought up Manning’s social media past in their digital broadsides. That includes a meandering Instagram post, since deleted, defending President Donald Trump following the 2020 Bible-waving moment in D.C. The actress cited “fake news” for the attacks on the president at the time.
Turns out she was right.
No matter. That single, deleted post was weaponized by those who hated the “Karen” trailer. She might get canceled before the film even finds a distributor.
The far-left Vulture.com called “Karen’s” sneak peek “the worst trailer” of the moment. The corrupt CNN.com also chimed in, echoing Twitter users who said the film is copying core elements of “Get Out,” Jordan Peele’s superlative social horror film.
USA Today doubled down on these charges.
Outlets routinely weaponize social media chatter to push preferred narratives. For “Karen,” it appears all of its woke gesturing will go for naught on the progressive Left, its assumed target audience.
The blowback echoes what we’re currently seeing with “In the Heights,” a movie musical made to empower Latinos and their culture. The film is under serious fire for not having any Afro-Latinos in prominent roles, prompting apologies from its co-star/co-creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda.