It used to be a thing to not speak ill of the dead, but Twitter’s army of armchair social justice warriors couldn’t resist pouncing on the chance to preach about how the late film legend Sean Connery was “problematic” with women.
The Scottish actor, best known as the face of James Bond, passed away at 90 on Saturday.
The internet was flooded with iconic photographs and gifs of the dashing 007 star as news of his passing spread around the world.
Then came the devout party-poopers. A coalition of blue-check Twitter users quickly raised the banner of wokeness, rallying sad, frustrated people on the internet to take potshots at the newly-dead giant of cinema.
Just minutes after his death, CBC reporter Deana Sumanac-Johnson described Connery as leaving behind a “complex legacy” and outed him for his “problematic views.”
Sir Sean Connery has died at 90. A complex legacy of some of people’s all time favourites (for me, Indy Jones and the Last Crusade) but problematic views. Watch my pal @jelenaadzic unpack it all on #cbcnn
— Deana Sumanac-Johnson (@deanasumanac) October 31, 2020
The brave finger-wagging directed at Connery’s still-warm body was mirrored by countless other self-appointed arbiters of righteousness.
Connery’s Bond, which for many remains the definitive depiction of the character, was “defined by a toxic masculinity that he sadly seemed to exhibit offscreen,” wrote freelance writer and film critic Hanna Ines Flint.
Sean Connery was a fine actor, an even better Bond. A Bond that was suave, dapper and charismatic but defined by a toxic masculinity that he sadly seemed to exhibit offscreen. A problematic fave. RIP.
— Hanna Ines Flint (@HannaFlint) October 31, 2020
Connery himself “was a deeply flawed man modeling really bad behavior,” political writer David Rothkopf tweeted, while admitting that “he WAS James Bond, a truly great movie star and his passing is the end of an era.”
Sean Connery, it turned out, was a deeply flawed man modeling really bad behavior. But…he WAS James Bond, a truly great movie star and his passing is the end of an era. Sean Connery, Oscar Winner and James Bond Star, Dies at 90 https://t.co/7UeuJjRMhJ via @variety
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) October 31, 2020
Others were more blunt: Connery was “a proud wife beater and advocated for violence against women,” gaming writer and developer Samantha Greer said.
Enjoyed Sean Connery on screen a lot aye and there’ll be a lot of nice things said about him but hardly possible to untangle the guy for the fact he was a proud wife beater and advocated for violence against women.
— Samantha Greer (@SamMGreer) October 31, 2020
Connery’s first wife, Diane Cilento, claims that the Scottish actor physically and verbally abused her while they were married. In a controversial interview, he argued that in certain circumstances it’s justified to slap a woman.
For some, such views guarantee that Connery is not to be mourned.
if your first reaction to finding out your hero was unapologetic about beating women is doling out verbal abuse to a woman, you might need to have a word with yourself
— COVID Goth Li’l 🌳 listen to @onbeliefpod (@karengeier) October 31, 2020
One hot take declared that the James Bond star was “beating women in heaven now.”
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