Source of Online “Boycott Green Inferno” Petition Revealed

Podcaster gets to the bottom of “Jungle Gate”

Back on July 16th, The Blood-Shed was one of the first to report on a Change.Org petition that sought to extinguish the Eli Roth helmed cannibal/survival horror, The Green Inferno, on the grounds that it’s “dehumanizing” to indigenous South American tribes. Launched by the account Boycott Green Inferno and including a quote attributed to Amazon Watch (a respected organization long at the forefront of Rain Forest conservationism and Indigenous Peoples’ rights) the petition lambasted Roth for creating a potentially damaging representation of Peruvian Indians based on long-standing stereotypes. It reads, in part:

Films like this have always portrayed negative stereotypes against indigenous people as brute savages. These films have psychological effect as indigenous people have been through colonial trauma assimilating to white culture being taught self-hate. “Westerners are unfortunately ignorant about Amazonian indigenous cultures and depicting them in such a violent story dehumanizes their peoples and couldn’t be farther from reality. Shame on you. As a storyteller you hold a great responsibility to influence others. Propagating such hate towards peoples who have been ravaged and raped for decades by white supremacist culture is not constructive in our fight to save the Amazon. Most indigenous communities are more in tune with nature than you’ll ever be, and would never conceive of such violence for profit. It’s a shame, we should be creating stories than accurately depict indigenous way of life which is holistic, sustainable, spiritual and harmonious with our earth and brothers and sisters.


News of this petition elicited two primary reactions. 1st: Disdain for so-called “Social Justice Warriors”, and; 2nd: Speculation that it was actually a marketing ploy initiated by the promotional team charged with drumming up interest during the final sprint towards The Green Inferno’s theatrical release date. If the second assumption was true, and someone at Camp Roth was misusing Amazon Watch’s good name and reputation well, that’s not fucking cool.

Horror journalist and podcaster Stuart Andrews who operates on Cinephobia took it upon himself to get to the bottom of the online petition by confirming its authenticity—a process that took more than just a couple days. His ultimate discovery (the petition’s source) is discussed in length (or ad nauseam) in a two-part podcast that aired on Cinephobia Radio August 6th called “Jungle Gate”. If a combined total of 3 hours of often bombastic pontifications sounds exciting to you, by all means, indulge in Jungle Gate yourself HERE. If, however, you’d like to cut to the chase, keep reading.


If you’re hoping for a saga of lies and deception with a smoking-gun or aha!-moment, you won’t get it. The Jungle Gate podcast attempts to convince you that this is a scandal worthy of your attention; while I agree it’s a somewhat interesting story, I hardly think it’s worthy of a 3-hour discussion, nor is this something you’ll feel compelled to rush out and tell your friends. At issue: Who initiated the Boycott Green Inferno petition on, was it a marketing ploy, and did the author of the petition fabricated the quote attributed to Amazon Watch?

Quick answers: Some guy, no, and no. Let me break it down for you.

The Boycott Green Inferno petition started life as an Instagram post that included a poster for Eli Roth’s upcoming film and ran under the title “Asshole of the Week”. Instagram user amerindian_1491 is known for posting issues of concerning to Indigenous peoples and has a decent number of followers. At issue: The assumed damaging, stereotypical portrayal of lost tribes in Peru. After receiving a few comments of support, who should enter the fray but Eli Roth himself, coming to his own defense. Roth claimed that the vitriol was unnecessary as Amazon Watch had seen the film and, according to him, “loved it!”. Well who should show up next for the fight but Amazon Watch; they slammed Roth for the statement, assuring him, among other things, that The Green Inferno was not endorsed by their organization. And far from loving it, Amazon Watch went to great length to express their displeasure with everything they knew about the film so far.

Asshole of the Week?

Asshole of the Week?

The Boycott Green Inferno petition was initiated, unsolicited, by a supporter of amerindian_1491, using text from the comments section for Asshole of the Week, specifically those made by Amazon Watch, as the accompanying text. You can put the pieces of the puzzle together for yourself: HERE. It was not created by anyone affiliated with Amazon Watch, who has attempted to contact the poster, requesting the petition removal—to no avail. In fact the creator of Boycott Green Inferno has not responded to anyone’s attempts at contact.

Amazon Watch, in a statement released through Andrews and read during the Jungle Gate podcast, seek to distance themselves from the petition by declaring they never made a “formal” statement regarding their position regarding Roth’s film. Apparently, they wish to withhold their official stance until after they find out how much guilt-money they can squeeze out of Roth. While that may be unfair, I find the organization’s backpedaling unprofessional.

Amazon Watch claims to have never released an official statement regarding The Green Inferno, but when someone manning their Instagram account made comments directed at Roth on the Asshole of the Week post, their words were as formal as anything they’ve released to the public before or since. When writing under the Amazon Watch moniker, everything stated is a formal declaration. In the age of the eternal internet fingerprint where off-handed comments can destroy careers and families, there are no “take-backs”. The organization might wish it had made a formal declaration before someone mouthed-off on Instagram, but once the statement was out there, it takes on a life of its own. This should be a lesson to all of us who use the internet as a platform. It’s something I think about every time I press the “Publish” button on one of my articles. And I’ve learned some of my own lessons the hard way.


To recap: The Boycott Green Inferno petition was created by a supporter of amerindian_1491, using comments made by Amazon Watch. Andrews (and his guest David Pace) must have been disappointed when it turned out there was no grand conspiracy at its core. They clearly don’t think very highly of Roth, as the three hour passive-aggressive podcast makes ridiculously apparent. When it turns out there’s no one to point a finger at, Andrews abruptly changes targets and skewers all horror journalists who reported on the petitions (myself included) for not taking the time necessary to verify its validity.

It’s a shame he went so suddenly agro, because instead of discussing his insights or praising his detective skills, it forces his peers into a defensive posture. I don’t appreciate being accused of shoddy reporting for a few reasons. First of all, our original article from July 16 attributed the petition to the account that initiated it, not to the organization mentioned in the accompanying text. That wasn’t by accident; Amazon Watch was never even named (directly or indirectly) by The Blood-Shed. Andrews belittles writers who took the petition at face value, even though his own search for a conspiracy theory (which played out like a witch hunt) proved there was absolutely nothing deceptive about it. Sure, the petition’s initiator didn’t exactly go about things the right way, but this was no false flag operation.

It wasn’t a marketing ploy, and, while it didn’t start at Amazon Watch, the quote attributed to that organization, statements made directly at Eli Roth regarding The Green Inferno, are legitimate. If anything, it’s proof that petitions are becoming less reliable. And it’s a lesson to anyone who speaks on social media under the banner of an organization: Anything you say can and will follow your ass until the end of time.


I can’t help but concluding that this has been much ado about nothing, not even worthy of the amount of time I’ve put into this article. Being accused of lazy journalism and pushing disinformation has derailed any deeper discussion of The Green Inferno’s subtext.  And, unfortunately, I’m left with more disdain than respect for Stuart Andrews. As horror journalists, we should build each other up and support one another; this community isn’t as big as you might think, and a shot against one of us is an affront to us all. Any backlash is yours to bare.

And to you, Eli: I love you, but be careful about who you claim “loves” your movie.

Let’s deflate Jungle Gate and get back to issues that, you know, actually matter.

Do you agree that Jungle Gate is a bunch of over-inflated hooey? Are you excited to see The Green Inferno, hitting US theaters on September 25th? Sound off in the Comments section!

Follow me on Twitter @josh_millican for quality horror articles worthy of your attention.




11 Comments on this post.

Leave a Reply



    10 August 2015 at 3:07 am - Reply

    Much to take issue with here. And while you’ve ignored much of our critiques of the marketing of the film, you score some points with me for actually following up on the issue, something not all the Eli supporters were prepared to do. I’ll respond in more detail on another bombastic podcast.

  • Danni
    10 August 2015 at 9:04 am - Reply

    I’ve been waiting for this movie for quite some time. And I appreciate your statement regarding horror journalists, that encouragement and a sense of community is what should be taking place within our beloved genre.

    10 August 2015 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    As many of your readers may not listen to the show in question, I have to point out that you’re being unfair to Amazon Watch. They were forced to make a statement on that thread in response to Eli’s false claims that they were in support of his film. It was creating confusion for their supporters and they needed to clarify the situation.

    And though you’re not guilty of this yourself, I saw more than a few instances where horror pundits running with the story put Amazon on blast for the petition, something they obviously had nothing to do with.

    And I get that you’re an Eli supporter but it’s Eli who’s at fault here, not Amazon Watch. But I’m glad you provided a link to that revealing discussion. That’s the heart of this issue – not the person who posted the petition, but the context in which the statement was made and the outrageous promises Eli made to the indigenous people, only to mock them with an irresponsible marketing campaign designed to amplify the voices of bigots.

    I hope your readers take the time to sift through that thread and reflect on his comments. It reveals a very different situation than what he said last year in a Rue Morgue interview that the only people who’d object to his representation of indigenous tribes in the Amazon are, “North Americans who want to appear to be concerned.”

    Amerindian has other threads on the subject. And though I don’t agree with all of the comments, it’s a fascinating read to get a sense of how some of the indigenous people feel about a movie like this. As far as I know, there’s no horror sites out there written by natives so it’s a perspective a lot of us don’t normally hear (and I guess a lot of us don’t want to hear, as the YouTube rants Eli has been retweeting will attest to.)

    As for your dismissive comments and criticisms of the show, it’s true, I put you in a defensive posture so I have to accept a reaction like this. And I will. But as an EX horror journalist, one with an extensive history, my frustration with the state of online horror journalism continues. The fact that you listened to our show – one of the extremely rare instances where journalists examine an issue from the horror world with a shred of critical perspective – and came away with almost nothing of value does not do much to restore my faith in this culture to be honest.

    Having said that, I don’t know much about your work personally so I’m not going to judge you purely from both this issue and your response, especially as I put you in a defensive posture to begin with.

    And as for my efforts to reach out to Amazon Watch to get clarification on the situation….

    You’re welcome! 😉

    Stuart F. Andrews

    • Man
      10 August 2015 at 1:30 pm - Reply

      What a tool

    • Josh Millican
      10 August 2015 at 1:30 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the in-depth reply Stuart. I admit I didn’t give the issue a thorough examination like you did. I might have had the inclination to do so if I didn’t feel compelled to defend myself for having previously reported on the petition’s existence. I feel that the details of your detective work and my defense was all the room I had in this particular post (frankly, readers don’t often read anything over 1000 words). The marketing tactics, Roth’s inaccurate claims of support, and how this fits into the current climate of SJW backlash are issues for additional articles. Your podcast was a extensive and exhaustive whereas, as a blogger, I feed my readers complex issues in digestible chunks. The totality of your podcast was not lost on me. Thanks again for the time you took getting to the bottom of this situation. Hope there are no hard feelings.

      • FEEDBACK
        10 August 2015 at 2:16 pm - Reply

        None at all, sir. I appreciate the response.

        (As for Man’s comment. Hello there, Hot Carl! Nice to see you again, my old friend.)

    11 August 2015 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    After being unwittingly dragged into the film’s publicity (due to Eli’s inaccurate claims and a petition falsely attributed to the organization), AMAZON WATCH have finally released a formal statement on the GREEN INFERNO:

    Whether or not you agree that Eli’s depiction of indigenous people is racist, this is well worth a read for some much-needed context into what’s actually happening in the Amazon.

    • Josh Millican
      11 August 2015 at 7:54 pm - Reply

      Will def bring this statement to our readers. This time, aspects of Roth’s marketing campaign will be discussed. Thanks as always for helping me deliver the most accurate information. Much appreciated!

      • FEEDBACK
        12 August 2015 at 2:24 am - Reply


  • Amazon Watch
    11 August 2015 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    Josh, as a small human rights and environmental NGO, Amazon Watch’s primary function is to accurately reflect the perspectives and opinions of our indigenous partners. Therefore, it was imperative that we meet with our indigenous partners before releasing any type of formal statement. You can now read that formal statement here:

    Amazon Watch did not “backpedal” nor were we “waiting for cash from Roth.” As you can imagine, most of our partners live in the remote rainforest and sometimes it can take awhile to communicate with them. All of our programmatic work is based directly on our indigenous partner’s perspectives, requests and opinions. It was simply a logistical issue that delayed the release of our own formal statement.

    • Josh Millican
      11 August 2015 at 7:53 pm - Reply

      I will make sure to present you’re official statement with our readers. While we may agree to disagree on certain aspects of The Green Inferno, I appreciate that you have taken the time weigh in! Thank you!