Everything about The Lego Movie is awesomely communist, according to the senior U.S. senator from Wisconsin.
Johnson expressed distaste for liberal Hollywood’s tendency to make capitalists the bad guys, citing The Lego Movie as a prime example.
The film, co-written and directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, follows the adventures of a construction worker Lego named Emmet Brickowski (voiced by Chris Pratt) who must save the Lego universe from the villainous villain, President/Lord Business (Will Ferrell). Lord Business presides over a totalitarian, corporate surveillance state.
“That’s done for a reason,” Johnson said. “They’re starting that propaganda, and it’s insidious.”
After the HuffPo story made the rounds, the senator returned fire with an angry blog post, doubling down on his anti-Lego Movie position.
“Some liberal writer at the Huffington Post was excited to find out that I’ve been talking to Wisconsinites about how enthusiastically the entertainment media spread a ‘business is bad’ message,” he blogged. “He seems to get hung up on the way I mentioned The Lego Movie…The strange thing isn’t that a kids’ movie was anti-business, it is that someone claiming to be a journalist never encountered the idea before.”
Johnson’s comments—and follow-up angry-blogging—serves as a bit of a revival of the original conservative freakout over The Lego Movie early last year, upon the film’s theatrical release. The critically acclaimed kids’ movie, which doubles as a political and social satire, made some news in February 2014 after it became the target of certain commentators in conservative media, including The Weekly Standard and Fox News’s sister channel. (For what it’s worth, The Economist—which Senator Johnson, oddly, links to on his blog—found the film to be “pleasingly libertarian.”)
Fox Business personalities weren’t happy with the movie for its allegedly “anti-business,” anti-capitalist message. One talked about how President Business physically resembles Mitt Romney. Another then segued into defending the similarly capitalist and evil Mr. Potter from It’s a Wonderful Life—an instance of life imitating parody.
Watch the Fox segment below:
Publicists for Lord and Miller did not respond to a request for comment regarding Senator Johnson’s hot take on The Lego Movie. However, I asked the directors last year what they thought of the Fox Business segment on their supposedly socialist-leaning, indoctrinating work. Lord got back to me, via Twitter:
“Art deserves many interpretations, even wrong ones,” he wrote in terse rebuttal.
Senator, take note.