Bethany Lacina Interview: Who Hates Star Wars For Its New Found Diversity?

by Beltway Banthas

Bethany Lacina is an associate professor of political science at the University of Rochester and she took a dive into “Star Wars Twitter” to get a better understanding of fandom and why it’s so toxic. She looked at the vitriol surrounding Kelly Marie Tran and wrote “How common is such harassment? In my research, I have investigated this phenomenon on Twitter, where offensive language and hate speech have a modest but clear presence — not because of automated accounts (“bots”) but because of humans. People use degrading language more frequently when they talk about women and minorities and when they talk to female fans.”

There are a lot of fascinating numbers and takeaways from the study WHICH CAN BE FOUND HERE. This interview with Bethany was taped on September 7th and goes over the findings + her broader views on Star Wars fan culture.


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Politics and Star Wars fuse together on this unique and fascinating show! Beltway Banthas is your place for insightful political commentary featuring the galaxy far, far, away. Beltway Banthas is a Star Wars podcast about the intersection of fandom and the things that drive daily life. For hosts Stephen Kent & Swara Salih, one of those things is politics. Star Wars draws from our world’s politics just as much as it contributes to it by influencing policymakers, journalists and thought leaders.

On the show, you’ll learn about the politics within the Star Wars universe, from Alderaan & Naboo’s monarchies to the function of the Senate on Coruscant. In between episodes we feature interviews with real world change-makers, and talk with them about how Star Wars impacted their lives and view of the world.

Stephen Kent lives outside of DC with his wife and daughter. He works at a political non-profit that does outreach to millennials. He enjoys political podcasts, cosplay, and making jokes that only he thinks are funny.

Swara Salih is a true believer, in both The Force and the importance of politics. As an activist, writer and aspiring Jedi, Swara came to Beltway Banthas as a listener and is now with the show full time. He’s a Data Analyst working to get city governments to use data better.

    Beltway Banthas Bethany Lacina Interview: Who Hates Star Wars For Its New Found Diversity?

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