The protagonist of the new kids movie is, as one might guess from his name, a feathered creature who has trouble controlling his temper. He’s an isolated misfit until his island is invaded by egg-eating pigs. Suddenly, Red becomes a hero, whose anger is a righteous fury. He leads the other fowls in a total war to wipe out their porcine foe.
Although not lacking in icons in the age of Trump, white supremacists have glommed on to Red. Gregory Hood, writing on the neo-Nazi website Counter-Currents Publishing, argues, “It’s hard to avoid the idea the movie is simply a giant metaphor for the European refugee crisis. A spoiled island of happy birds doesn’t recognize the threat of interlopers.” Hood compares Red to George Lincoln Rockwell, founder of the American Nazi Party.
James Kirkpatrick, of the white nationalist anti-immigrant site V-Dare, agrees, telling his readers to “take your children to see Angry Birds” since it offers a “cautionary tale” about the dangers of refugees. The anonymous person behind the Twitter handle @WarOnWhites also seems to be an Angry Birds fan.
Based on a game played on cell phones, the Angry Birds movie was almost destined to have a simplistic binary plot of good against evil. Racists who love the movie might want to consider what it says about their ideology that it needs to be validated by the most rudimentary narrative possible.