Image : Twitter / Kotaku
Rep. Paul Gosar, Republican of Arizona, yesterday posted an absolutely raging video on Twitter, which linked the Attack on Titan anime to footage of the US border with Mexico, and showed characters attacking Democratic lawmakers, including President Biden.
“Anime fans over there?” Gosar tweeted from his congressional account with the video attached. The 90-second mashup shows Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican from Georgia, and Rep. Lauren Boebert, Republican from Colorado, as the heroes of the apocalyptic anime, protecting a city from giant invaders. One of the invaders has the face of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on it and is killed by a figure wearing Gosar’s face. At another point, President Joe Biden’s face appears and, once again, Gosar’s head is transposed onto the Attack on Titan hero, pouncing on Biden with two swords drawn.
“My team’s creativity is off the hook,” Gosar wrote from his personal Twitter account while retweeting the video. It has now been viewed over 3 million times, and although it is flagged by Twitter with a “hateful conduct” warning, it remains active.
“This Tweet violated Twitter’s rules for hateful behavior,” the warning read. “However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public interest for the Tweet to remain accessible. “
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Ocasio-Cortez responded later today by calling Gosar “scary” and criticizing the Republican leadership for tolerating him.
“So on my way to Glasgow, a creepy member I work with who raises money for neo-Nazi groups shared a fantastic video of him killing me. . “Fun Monday! Well, back to work because the institutions do not protect the woc.
Read more: Attack on Titan 2 is as brutal as the series and a little more personal
Gosar, who has represented Arizona voters since 2010, has never found a crackpot right-wing plot or white nationalist group he didn’t like. Earlier this year, he voted to quash the 2020 presidential election results and called the Jan.6 attack on the United States Capitol a work of “peaceful protesters.” Over the summer, he attended a rally with commentator Nicholas Fuentes, whom the Justice Department called a white supremacist. His own siblings demanded that he be removed from his post.
Attack on Titan has always had a fascist subtext, and its surface level conflict of a city overrun by monsters makes it an obvious choice for demagogues trying to foment xenophobia and bigotry. That doesn’t make the anime bad, but it did give the hyper-violent series a huge fan base among the alt-right. Meanwhile, ABC News last year reported 54 cases of real-world violence linked to President Trump’s bashing of immigrants and minorities.
Twitter finally banned Trump in January this year, two days after the assault on Capitol Hill, because he feared he would urge his supporters to start over.