Will "The Greatest American Hero" be The Next Alt-Right Pop Culture Freakout?

You may soon hear a lot about The Greatest American Hero, a show worth forgetting.

The early ‘80s lighthearted superhero comedy program ran for 45 episodes and followed a Robert Plant-looking goofball who found a superhero suit he didn’t know how to use. It’s probably best remembered for its epic soft rock theme song, which later inspired a Seinfeld joke.

You can probably understand at a quick glance why the show’s forgotten. Until this week, only people with severe nostalgia poisoning gave it a thought. Now the show came roaring back to life in a way that is sure to get under the skin of racist basement dwellers across America: by featuring Hannah Simone, a woman of Asian descent, as the lead in an upcoming pilot.

Look, we know you can’t say for certain how alt-right men will react to culture. They’re avid anime fans despite anime’s non-western origins, after all. But we’re pretty sure this will get under their pale, thin skin. Here’s why.

The Alt Right Lives For Dumb Outrage Over Rebooted Culture

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Remember Lady Ghostbusters? Alt-Right goons couldn’t wait until that movie was released before freaking out over the women usurping ghost catching jobs traditionally held by men. The moment the first trailer was released angry dudes made their displeasure known on YouTube and Facebook. In the year between the trailer and the movie’s release, they never stopped hating. Alt-Right dandy fop Milo Yiannopoulos’ career peaked with his Twitter harassment of <Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones.

The Alt-Right Hates P.O.C. Superheroes


Gender swapping roles isn’t the only way to get Nazi types in a huff. Seeing non-white people in major roles bugs them, too. Seeing John Boyega as a black stormtrooper in The Force Awakens trailer made racists rally around the hashtag #BoycottStarWarsVII to drop racist slurs and accuse Disney of “liberal pandering.” The New Yorker reported that YouTube commenters were flocking to the trailer of the TV show Star Trek: Discovery, “clearly appalled by the absence of white men in command positions.”

The wish for pop culture apartheid isn’t new, either: neo-nazis spazzed out when Idris Elba’s was cast as a Norwegian deity in 2010’s Thor. Even casting black people as black characters seems to bother racists—a Facebook group reported to have alt right connections was going to flood Rotten Tomatoes with negative reviews of Black Panther until RT got wind of their plan.

Why This Will be The Very Dumbest Controversy of All

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If the alt-right does get worked up over this, it’ll be even more of a farce than usual. Again, no one cares about The Greatest American Hero. It’s not an obsessed-over cultural touchstone like Star Wars, Star Trek, the Marvel movies or Ghostbusters. If there was a question about The Great American Hero on TriviaHQ, it would be like the sixth of the night, designed to eliminate hundreds of thousands of players who’ve never heard of the show.

Why Trump Will Tweet About it Anyway


There’s one minor but genuine quibble about Simone taking on the title role in The Greatest American Hero: she’s not an American. The New Girl actress was born in the U.K. and raised in Canada. That’ll give Trump just enough cover for a thinly veiled racist tweet if the show’s a hit.