Not often does a movie have the same social impact as Bird Box has had over the past few weeks. For a movie that did very little marketing and self-promotion, this film sure has blown up, and FAST. I can't scroll through my social media channels without finding a Bird Box meme, review, or fan theory.
Speaking of fan theories, I think I found one of the most bizarre ones out there while perusing Reddit this morning. On The Root, Michael Harriot has claimed that he firmly believes that Birdbox is a movie about how white people don't want to see racism. Huh?
Now as a white person, I know that me de-bunking this theory might feel like I'm just defending white people or racism, but trust me, I'm not. When you hear how out of the box and f*cked up this theory is, you'll be rolling your eyes too. Harriot broke down his theory in a Twitter thread:
First, it can’t hurt you if you don’t look at it. If you refuse to acknowledge it, you will survive.— michaelharriot (@michaelharriot) December 27, 2018
It is starting to destroy the entire world. Lil Rel tries to explain that it has been around since the beginning of time but no one wants to listen. He’s even writing a book about it. But despite all of his knowledge about racism, the only job he can get is at a grocery store.— michaelharriot (@michaelharriot) December 27, 2018
The children have to grow up in a world and learn to deal with the dangers of racism. The only way to survive it is to listen.— michaelharriot (@michaelharriot) December 27, 2018
Then, they reach the racism-free safe space and guess why racism can’t hurt them?— michaelharriot (@michaelharriot) December 27, 2018
Because they are blind to racism!
And the only reason sighted people are safe is because of the birds are still chattel kept in a cage. The birds aren’t free, they’re just in a BIGGER BOX!
After all the white people betray you, when you’re the last person on earth, just maybe...— michaelharriot (@michaelharriot) December 27, 2018
Maybe that’s when you’ll listen to the black dude.
If this isn't a reach, then I don't know what is. If Bird Box truly was a film about racism, it would be much more obvious, and presented in a much more tasteful and serious way. Harriot claims that Bullock's character represents "White Privilege", and that she's aware of racism, but doesn't really worry about it because no one where she lives is racist.
Let's think about this logically for a moment. Sure, some people might think that this theory is spot on. But realistically, you could take any issue plaguing society today, and make a case for it being the main theme of Bird Box. For example, the "monsters" could be representative of depression, or other mental health issues that are often stigmatized. Most people ignore them and try to run from them, but there are a few here and there that get overcome by the demons and end their lives as a result.
People have also theorized that Bird Box is representative of the current political climate in the United States. There are a few who strongly agree with this, but again, you can fit almost any theory into any movie if you really try hard enough.
I'm not saying that racism isn't a relevant and important issue, but I am saying that when they were filming Bird Box, this theory is not at ALL what they had in mind. Better luck next time, Michael Harriot.