Moon Knight Is Coming Under Attack For A Tragic Controversy

By Nathan Kamal | 4 weeks ago

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The Disney+ show Moon Knight has by and large been warmly received, with an 87% Critics score on Rotten Tomatoes and extremely solid viewership numbers. The potent combination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe fans, the combined talents of acting heavyweights Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke, and an intriguingly dark storyline involving divine justice. However, the show is causing a potent amount of fervent criticism and reviewing bombing because of a brief reference to a historical event still mired in some controversy. Specifically, the antagonist of Moon Knight, Arthur Harrow (Ethan Hawke) recites a list of historical atrocities that could have been prevented in his eyes by the wrathful future judgment of the Egyptian goddess Ammit. He references the acts of Nazi Germany under the command of Adolf Hitler, and those of the Roman Empire under the infamous Nero, and then goes on to reference the genocide of ethnically Armenian citizens by the Ottoman Empire in World War I. 

The problem that Moon Knight has waded into there (as some see it) is that the present-day nation of Turkey (which was formed after the overthrow of the remnants of the Ottomans in 1922) does not acknowledge the Armenian genocide as such. The official stance of Turkey is that ethnically Armenian citizens of the Ottoman Empire were deported for military reasons, and relocated. In contrast, the vast consensus of historians worldwide labels it as ethnic cleansing, as do 31 nations. There are varying reasons for the current nation of Turkey to deny the actions of their predecessor state, but it is generally held within their cultural and historical beliefs that the documented forced death marches of over one million ethnic Armenians, internment in concentration camps in the Syrian Desert is a widely held system of propaganda. It is unlikely that the typically apolitical stewards of Disney saw this coming for Moon Knight

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As such, there have been reports that online criticism calling Moon Knight a source of disinformation about the Armenian genocide, and that it is promoting a false history (that once again, is widely held as fact by the majority of other nations). Most likely Disney and their Marvel Studios branch will hope that this will be a fire that goes out on its own, considering it is not actually a central part of the plot of Moon Knight and was literally just an offhand remark. Considering that Disney is currently being hit hard with criticism by both sides of the political spectrum for their stances on LGBTQIA+ issues in the United States, it feels like they will probably not want to get deeper into the arena of genocide denial. 

Moon Knight has been something of a departure from typical MCU fare for its dark themes and somewhat graphic violence, but it does not seem that engaging with a fraught political subject like this one is what the show was intended for. It is still up in the air whether the show will receive a second season (a lot seems to depend on Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke for that if their characters survive), so who knows what other controversies they will get into in the remaining episodes.