X users up in arms against Netflix over ‘racist’ Jessica Alba film depicting Arabs as terrorists clad in keffiyehs

X users up in arms against Netflix over ‘racist’ Jessica Alba film depicting Arabs as terrorists clad in keffiyehs

Calls for boycott resound after Alba's comeback film Trigger Warning drops on the streaming platform.
26 Jun, 2024

Last week, Jessica Alba made her onscreen comeback with the Netflix Original film, Trigger Warning. People, however, wish she hadn’t with one X user suggesting she go back to making baby food — or whatever it is she was doing — instead of returning to star in a “racist” film about Arabs at a time when Israel is massacring Palestinians.

Many are calling for a boycott of both Alba and Netflix for showing Arab ‘terrorists’ clad in keffiyeh in the opening scene of the film.

The scene in question sees Arab characters attacking American characters in an aid truck in the Syrian desert. After the American characters overpower the ‘terrorists’ holding them hostage, one soldier begins firing at them, angering Alba’s character, who stops him from “murdering assets” — not human beings, assets.

Viewers have drawn parallels between this scene and the Nusseirat Massacre, which allegedly involved Israeli forces using humanitarian aid trucks as a guise to infiltrate the camp, a tactic referred to as “humanitarian camouflage”. The attack resulted in over 270 Palestinians being killed and more than 600 injured.

“Did the writers have prior knowledge of what went down in Rafah or are government assassins pretending to be aid workers like a thing?” a user asked. The controversial scene in Alba’s film also reminds one of the vaccination drive that the CIA organised in Pakistan 2012 to obtain the DNA of Osama bin Laden’s family.

We want to clarify that aside from the opening scene, we have not watched the film. Trigger Warning’s trailer doesn’t overtly show any significant Muslim presence. It centres on Alba’s character, Parker, a special forces commando who returns to her hometown after her father’s death. As she investigates his death, she encounters a violent gang, prompting her to go rogue.

Social media, however, has been ablaze with reactions expressing disappointment and anger, with many sharing the hashtag #BoycottNetflix. Comments range from general condemnation of the film’s portrayal of Arabs to specific critiques of Alba’s participation in the project. The majority of criticism is limited to that one opening scene of the film.

An X post liked over 65,000 times, reads, “Boycott this racist a** movie that normalises Americans hiding in aid trucks to shoot and murder Arabs. Does this sound familiar to anyone?”

“Decades of dehumanising Arabs,” another noted.

“Shame on Jessica Alba for being part of a movie that promotes Zionist ideology,” one user lamented.

Several similar reactions made their way online, calling the film a piece of “propaganda,” “zionist” and “racist”. Users also pointed out that similar Arab tropes have been used in Hollywood movies in the past but now is probably the worst time to be reinforcing them. Calls for a boycott of Netflix were a common theme.

After October 7, Alba shared a post expressing her sorrow for the “unimaginable horror” faced by the Israeli and Jewish community at the hands of “terrorists”.

She capped this off with a diplomatic remark, expressing her ache for the families, women and children — Israeli and Palestinian — “experiencing pure devastation and horror.”

Alba and Netflix have yet to comment on the controversy surrounding Trigger Warning.


Regs Jun 26, 2024 08:50pm
why do people take everything literally, its an entertainment - watch it if you like, ignore if you don't. Looks like film title is a success "Trigger Warning", certainly triggered quite a few.
jsav12 Jun 26, 2024 09:32pm
Nobody banned Iron Man for depicting Pakistanis as terrorists. I still hold a grudge against that movie for that.
Ishrat Hyatt Jun 26, 2024 10:23pm
Stupid movie recommended by a reviewer - did not watch after half an hour of wondering who can make such stupid movies - I guess its what Americans like
Naeem Jun 26, 2024 10:59pm
It’s just a movie. Don’t watch if you don’t like it.
Allaisa Jun 27, 2024 01:40am
Funny, that without even watching the movie, you make it your right to comment. That first scene you are talking about is just incidental to the movie which is mediocre at best and has no further role. I have seen some bollywood movies with the same theme. Hero or a heroine fights some baddies (could be in Kashmir against some terrorists) and goes home only to find a local corrupt politician and his henchmen ruling the roast in her town. She fights back and destroys the gang. End of story. Don't you have these kinds of silly movies in Pakistan?
ENGR Hamid Shafiq Jun 27, 2024 06:27am
Now it's time to Boycott that movie
Habibullah Shaikh Jun 27, 2024 09:10am
A movie empire like Netflix should not release such type of Racist movie - at a time when Israel massacaring Palestinians who are Arabs, so we simply boycott Netflix and Jessica Alba too.
Sal Jun 29, 2024 05:36am
And why can’t people be outraged? This is a recreation of a war crime that occurred literally weeks ago, it was horrendous to witness real time and is infuriating to be made light of as crappy entertainment for racists