Sometimes, the oddest stories manage to take over the internet, giving birth to countless memes, tributes, and petitions. One such tale is that of Harambe, a 17-year-old Western lowland silverback gorilla who was shot and killed at the Cincinnati Zoo back in May of this year. Haramabe’s untimely death occurred after a 4-year-old fell into his enclosure, and the ape began dragging the boy around. Fearing for the child’s safety, zoo staff felt they had no choice but to employ lethal force to put an end to things.
Video of the incident quickly surfaced online, sparking widespread outrage from seemingly just about everyone who saw it. Many placed the blame for what happened on the child’s parents, wondering why they weren’t paying close enough attention to him that they could have prevented his fall into the enclosure in the first place. Hashtags like #justiceforHarambe quickly sprang up, along with a Change.org petition demanding that the boy’s parents be held responsible for Harambe’s demise.
Clearly trying to capitalize on Harambe’s continuing status as an online meme fountain, Relativity Media CEO Ryan Kavanaugh recently tweeted a challenge to the deceased gorilla’s cult of fans: retweet this post 1 million times and Relativity will make a Harambe movie. The original tweet is included below, for those who wish to add themselves to the still growing tally.
Kavanaugh has a history of linking to and saying fairly provocative things on his Twitter feed, so it’s not really too surprising that the often outspoken executive opted to put the future of a Harambe movie in the hands of his followers. Plus, it’s no secret that Relativity has been having a bit of rough go of it as a studio in the last few years, so there are certainly worse things Kavanaugh could do than use Harambe’s name to try and get his company some attention for a potential high profile new project.
As of this writing, Kavanaugh’s tweet has been retweeted some 230,000 times, meaning that those interested in a Harambe film still have quite the ways to go to get to the finish line. Still, there doesn’t appear to be a deadline on how long folks have to reach the million retweet milestone, and Relativity insists that this whole thing isn’t just a stunt and that a Harambe movie will indeed happen should the stated goal be met.
Should Harambe: The Movie finally get the greenlight, here’s hoping that Relativity takes some dramatic license with the ending, and lets the poor guy live. After all, if the film does well, Relativity could then make an action-focused sequel called Harambe 2: Going Ape, and the world would surely be better off if such a project existed.
Harambe: The Movie is currently about 770,000 retweets away from happening.