The Year in Outrage: 24 Times 2015 Totally Lost Its Shit

If there’s one thing that brought us all together this year, it was being mad at stuff. Caution: Moments of intense sarcasm ahead.
  1. American Sniper
    The firestorm around American Sniper started off so innocently: praise for Bradley Cooper’s portrayal of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, acknowledgement of director Clint Eastwood’s skill, a few murmurings about the movie’s politics. Then, some more murmurings. Then full-blown shouting, as the three faces of the American psyche—Seth Rogen, Kid Rock, and Michael Moore—waged open war over the question of Kyle’s troubled legacy, and the film’s complicity in it.
  2. Too many women
    These days, women are everywhere. (They’re even letting them into comic-cons now.) And in this gynofascist regime where women oppress men simply by doing things other than braid each other’s hair and have sex with Dilbert creator Scott Adams, not even that most traditionally testosterone-laden of cinematic genres, action movies, is safe from the anti-male agenda.
  3. Not enough women
    Women may be everywhere, according to self-proclaimed “meninists,” but one place they still aren’t is on toy shelves. Despite prominent roles in Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Jurassic World this year, female figures were suspiciously absent from the marketing for said films.
  4. Predatory pitchmen
    True, Subway sandwiches and 19 Kids And Counting were gross going in to 2015, but the events of the year have given both a new, nauseating set of connotations.
  5. Martin Shkreli
    This weasel-faced symbol of Wall Street decadence made a name for himself in September by purposefully jacking up the price of Daraprim more than 5,000 percent, basically because he could. Then he bought that infamous one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan record for $2 million, but RZA didn’t want his dirty money, and is giving the profits to charity.
  6. The Fat Jew
    If Donald Trump is the manifestation of every poorly fact-checked chain letter American conservatives have forwarded over the past decade, then The Fat Jew is a golem formed from Drake GIFs, emoji, and a box of Pizza Rat T-shirts some poor schmuck is currently trying to unload on a street corner in Williamsburg.
  7. The Confederate flag
    After more than a century of not really paying that much attention, this summer a majority of Americans finally, collectively realized that the Confederate flag was a racist symbol, prompting protests that eventually forced officials in South Carolina to remove it from the state’s capitol building.
  8. Jared Leto’s Joker
    He had the green hair and penchant for purple clothing, but he was also covered in cheesy tattoos that would’ve even looked excessive at the Gathering Of The Juggalos. We tried to fool ourselves with set photos that made it look like the ink wasn’t real, but the first Suicide Squad trailer officially dashed those hopes.
  9. Food-related celebrity tantrums
    The phenomenon manifested itself twice this year, first when Jack White got upset after a college newspaper published his tour rider, which included some boring information about how he likes his vegetables (plain) and his guacamole (also pretty plain). White later said he resented the implication that he was being a diva, but Ariana Grande had no such excuse when she was caught on camera licking entire trays of donuts while muttering, “I hate Americans,” which is classic diva behavior.
  10. Tall tales of survival
    2015 was a banner year for White Guys Who Said Something Dangerous Happened To Them, But Then We Found Out It Didn’t, And Boy, Did We Get Mad. The poster boy for this exciting new trend was NBC’s Brian Williams, who lied about his time in Iraq, followed by the League's Steve Rannazzisi lies about 9/11.
  11. Disrespect toward Native Americans
    Whether they were accused of curses or being depicted in an Adam Sandler movie, 2015 was a rough year for Native Americans in movies. Who could have predicted that Sandler’s Western spoof, The Ridiculous 6, would mix its racist stereotypes with its sexist jokes, naming Apache women in the film “Beaver’s Breath” and “No Bra”? That’s a rhetorical question, of course.
  12. Spider-Man
    A perennial favorite, and the gold standard of nerd rage. You think people got mad about the all-female Ghostbusters? That’s nothing compared to the reaction that the mere suggestion of changing the template for the cinematic webslinger produces in a certain subset of fans.
  13. Ashley Madison
    Appealing to a particularly literal-minded section of the unhappily married population—joining any dating site without your spouse’s knowledge is unethical, but it takes a special kind of cheater to sign up for the adultery-specific one—“married dating” site Ashley Madison preys on users’ naïveté by “guaranteeing” affairs to those willing to shell out cash.
  14. That horrifying Lucille Ball statue
    “Vitameatave—get it out of here!” is presumably what the residents of Celoron, New York said when they decided they’d been sufficiently traumatized by Dave Poulin’s Bronze Abomination, Or: A Statue Of Lucille Ball. “Scary Lucy,” as the ghastly monument is known in New England folklore, has leered menacingly from the park commemorating the comedian lo, these many (six) years.
  15. NBC canceling Hannibal
    Seriously, NBC? You couldn’t let us have this one? Look, we all understand that Bryan Fuller’s gloriously gothic paean to man-on-serial-killer love and violence drew ratings roughly equivalent to those of your average scat porn. And sure, networks have to make money by whatever means necessary. But you had already moved the show to Saturdays, where where a half-dozen retirees falling asleep in front of the TV equals solid numbers for any programming. And more importantly, we loved this series.
  16. Trevor Noah’s Twitter
    These days, an employee background check has expanded into the nooks and crannies of their online presence, which is why it’s hard to believe that Trevor Noah didn’t do a better job of scrubbing his Twitter account of potentially offensive material when he landed the Daily Show hosting gig earlier this year.
  17. Whitewashed casting
    Not since Mel Gibson decided Jesus Of Nazareth was a white guy from the Pacific Northwest has there been a year with such overt examples of movie-star whitewashing. First (of many) out of the gate was Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods And Kings, in which famous Welsh and Australian guys Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton played those famous non-Welsh or Australian guys Moses and Ramses, and Rupert Murdoch defended it by saying all the Egyptians he knows are white guys.
  18. Characters dying, or maybe not
    When it’s actually feasible to have the news equivalent of a form letter prepared—namely, one that says that “despite all filmed evidence to the contrary, the character of [REDACTED] on [insert television show name here] isn’t a goner”—there’s a problem. We did it for Game Of Thrones. We did it for The Walking Dead. And while one of those was clearly more egregious than the other, we’re looking forward to pulling out that same script again soon.
  19. Quentin Tarantino vs. the police
    Boy, nothing caps off a year marked by increasing tensions between police and the public like a showdown between the boys and girls in blue and a high-profile director who dared to speak out against violent excesses committed by some of those among their ranks. And in the case of Quentin Tarantino, we’re talking about a guy who knows his way around a violent excess or two.
  20. Kim Kardashian
    Her crime? Appearing on NPR’s Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me! comedy quiz to promote her book. Listeners were apparently so outraged by this invasion of their protected garret of Paula Poundstone jokes that they wrote into the NPR ombudsman to complain, employing the full force of their crossword-puzzle-and-Amherst-honed intellects.
  21. Hulk Hogan
    Men who wear bandannas always have secrets, as any former contestant on Rock Of Love can presumably attest. This year, we found out what Hulk Hogan was hiding under his.
  22. Everything George Lucas says or does
    As the release date of The Force Awakens crept closer, every move George Lucas made somehow became way more interesting than it ever was when he was actually in charge of Star Wars. Reaching all the way back to January, Lucas was complaining about how modern movies lacked “substance,” but the frequency of stories about George Lucas doing something/anything really picked up in the fall.
  23. The ghosts of outrage past
    While the 21st century news cycle has proven itself to have the long-term memory of a goldfish who smoked way too much pot in college, allowing some of 2015’s social-media villains to eventually return to their normal lives (see No. 21), other stories just keep coming back. See: Bill Cosby, Paula Deen's #ThrowbackThrusday brownface, and Jerry Seinfeld's problem with political correctness.
  24. ...And one good thing
    The upside to all this dyspeptic fury is that sometimes, when channeled into something productive, the online hive mind can make fun, exciting things happen. this year saw successful campaigns to fund new albums by TLC and De La Soul, a Ghostbusters board game, a Blu-ray release of Don Hertzfeldt’s first movie, a Super Troopers sequel, and a little show called Mystery Science Theater 3000.