Legendary writer Alan Moore said an argument can be made that D.W. Griffith's controversial Birth of a Nation is a superhero film while he was talking about the impact of superheroes on culture.
A 2017 interview with Moore by Brazilian outlet Folha de São Paulo was reprinted by the Alan Moore World blog in English. After explaining why he believes mainstream superheroes and their movies are having a negative impact on society, Moore is reported to have said, "I would also remark that save for a smattering of non-white characters (and non-white creators) these books and these iconic characters are still very much white supremacist dreams of the master race. In fact, I think that a good argument can be made for D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation as the first American superhero movie, and the point of origin for all those capes and masks."
Although made much earlier, Moore's comments are resurfacing at a time when many prominent names in Hollywood, including Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola, have made disparaging remarks about superhero films.
Released in 1915, Birth of a Nation is arguably the most controversial film of all time. Although technically innovative, Birth of a Nation glorifies the Ku Klux Klan while depicting black men as inferior and predatory. The movie is considered at least partially responsible for the revival of the KKK, which had nearly ceased to exist by the time the Birth of a Nation released.
Responsible for such books as Watchmen, Moore is one of comics most well-known writers. Moore announced his retirement from comics in 2016. His final work in the medium, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. IV, The Tempest #6, released earlier this year.
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