Q: Into the Storm is an American documentary television miniseries directed and produced by Cullen Hoback. It explores the QAnon conspiracy theory and the people involved with it. It consists of six episodes and premiered on HBO on March 21, 2021.
Now, this is not a review of the documentary as we had to turn it off halfway through. Instead, this is a commentary on why it is extremely dangerous and irresponsible to continue to give positive attention to a conspiracy theory that has caused serious harm to many American lives. Isn’t it enough that, the QAnon conspiracy and its supporters was at the forefront of the January 6 Capitol Insurrection? Why produce a recruitment video for criminal behaviour?
From a marketing perspective, we can understand why the filmmakers produced Q : Into the Storm and definitely why HBO would back this. However, it seems exploitative of the filmmakers and HBO to make money off the back of this deranged, psychotic conspiracy theory, without considering the repercussions. We cannot emphasise the sheer negligence of these parties in continuing to stoke the fire of QAnon – hasn’t enough lives been wasted or trouble been caused?
Worse still, there is one particular incident in the first episode where a journalist produces a video to satirise the Pizzagate conspiracy theory. For the uninitiated, the Pizzagate conspiracy theory falsely claimed the emails contained coded messages that connected several high-ranking Democratic Party officials and U.S. restaurants with an alleged human trafficking and child sex ring. One of the establishments allegedly involved was the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C.
What followed is that the video satire – intended as a joke – was taken seriously by many people and fanned the flames of Pizzagate to such an extent that a man from North Carolina traveled to Comet Ping Pong to investigate the conspiracy and fired a rifle inside the restaurant to break the lock on a door to a storage room during his search.
So, do HBO and Cullen Hoback honestly believe that giving this ridiculous conspiracy theory a prestigious six-part documentary miniseries is such a good idea? Surely, such attention will only serve to embolden the idiots behind QAnon. Free speech only makes sense if people exercise critical thinking. If not, then free speech may become the perfect breeding ground for lies, hate speech and social brainwashing. Enough is enough. Avoid at all cost.
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