Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s classic novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, has been adapted for the small screen, and U.S. President Donald Trump‘s supporters are not pleased. A trailer posted to YouTube yesterday features a number of negative comments that accuse the production of being a thinly-veiled criticism on the current administration.
Except there’s one catch: the book was first published in 1985.
“Anybody can clearly see that this is leftist propaganda meant to trigger your subconscious mind,” one person wrote. “Very smart games the left is playing.”
“More bulls**t propaganda from hollywood [sic]. Please keep it coming it’ll only help him in 2020. MAGA!!!” wrote another.
Many were quick to point out that the series is based on Atwood’s book, which was written long before Trump stepped into politics.
“Dear Trump supporters,” one commenter wrote. “This is based off a dystopian novel called The Handmaid’s Tale. Any similarity between the Trump administration and the oppressive government in this fiction is entirely coincidental.”
Atwood responded to the controversy over Twitter.
“(Sigh) First published in 1985,” she wrote in response to a tweet that pointed her in the direction of the criticism.
(Sigh) First published in 1985. https://t.co/6ItyIIEXeS
— Margaret E. Atwood (@MargaretAtwood) March 24, 2017
The 10-episode series tells the tale of a dystopian society created by the overthrowing of the United States government by a Christian fundamentalist movement that strips women of their agency. Thrust into a new order based on a militarized hierarchy, a select group of women are forced to act as reproductive “handmaids” to powerful men in an attempt to increase the birth rate, which is waning due to sterilization caused by pollution and disease.
In an interesting twist, earlier this week, as the Texas legislature sought to ban second-trimester abortions, a group of women took their cues from the story and staged a silent protest dressed in handmaid costumes consisting of long red cloaks and white bonnets.
— PPTV (@PPTXVotes) March 20, 2017
Social media users quickly picked up on the protest and documented photos from the Texas Senate, some with the hashtag #FightBackTX.
— Blake Rocap (@BlakeRocap) March 20, 2017
— Alexa Garcia-Ditta (@agarciaditta) March 20, 2017
— Nan L. Kirkpatrick (@nanarchist) March 20, 2017
The Handmaid’s Tale premieres April 26, starring Elisabeth Moss, Alexis Bledel and Samira Wiley.