Scene In ‘Atlas’ Creating Debate

In the latest injection of identity politics into Western media, Netflix’s new sci-fi film *Atlas* includes a scene where the protagonist, played by Jennifer Lopez, is lectured on proper pronoun usage by a sentient AI.

Written by *Star Trek: Discovery* scribe Aron Eli Coleite and *StartUp* story editor Leo Sardarian, *Atlas* follows the story of Atlas Shepherd, an information analyst working for the International Coalition of Nations (ICN). She is tasked with hunting down and capturing a rogue AI named Harlan (portrayed by Simu Liu), who previously attempted to exterminate humanity thirty years prior.

The controversial scene occurs early in the film after Atlas learns that the ICN has located Harlan and is preparing for a mission to capture him alive. Atlas warns the mission’s leaders, Colonel Banks (Sterling K. Brown) and General Jake Boothe (Mark Strong), that Harlan’s ability to overwrite other AIs’ programming could turn their own weapons against them. Frustrated, she concludes her warning with a sigh, saying, “I need a coffee.”

In an effort to ease her concerns, Banks invites Atlas to join him and Boothe in a nearby hangar. There, they are greeted by a large Arc Suit operated by an AI named Zoe (voiced by Zoe Boyle), who offers Atlas a cup of coffee. Surprised by Zoe’s gesture, Atlas asks, “How did it know I wanted coffee?”

Before Banks can answer, Zoe interjects, correcting Atlas with, “I’m sorry, but my pronouns are she and her, not ‘it’.” Banks, looking exasperated, explains that Zoe was aware of the conversation because they are synced, ensuring Harlan cannot implant his code into Zoe.

This is not the first instance where Western entertainment features a protagonist being chastised for incorrect pronoun usage. Recently, *Doctor Who*’s 60th anniversary special, *The Star Beast*, included a scene where the Time Lord promises to help an alien called The Meep, only to be corrected by Rose Noble for assuming the alien’s pronouns.

*Atlas* is now available for streaming exclusively on Netflix.


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