“Joker,” the new movie directed by Todd Phillips, is sparking excitement all across the United States for DC Comics and Joker fans alike. Unfortunately, a significant number of people do not feel the same about the release of the movie and originally wanted to prevent it from hitting theaters. This is because the film sends an ill-suited message: A mentally ill man is glorified for committing acts of violence.
People believe this relates to the U.S., where thousands of citizens are currently affected by mass shootings or some type of gun violence. A mass shooting is defined as a shooting incident that kills or wounds four or more people. There were 372 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2015 that killed 465 people and injured 1,870, according to BBC News. This high number of mass shootings continues to increase each year. Some even believe that the movie might motivate certain individuals to take on the Joker’s personality and imitate his violent actions.
The villain’s persona has already influenced someone to commit domestic terrorism in the past. In 2012, James Eagan Holmes went to a theater in Aurora, Colorado, that was showing a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” and opened fire at the audience, killing 12 people and injuring 70 others. According to the police, he told them he was the Joker when he was taken into custody.
The new “Joker” movie also reminded people of a horrific clown epidemic that occurred in 2016, which sparked concern that the movie might promote copycats in the near future because of certain scenes and events. During the trend, individuals would dress up as clowns and scare people during the day and night. Some occurrences would go no further than spooking people, but others would cross the line when the clowns made threats or, in some cases, actually attacked other people. Some of the scenes in “Joker” show people rioting and committing violent acts while wearing clown masks.
Even though these concerns are legitimate, the movie release was not going to be stopped because it was a popular movie concept. Some reviewers believe that it might win Academy Awards and break October box office records because of the work put into it by the producers Bradley Cooper, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Todd Phillips (who, for this movie, doubled as the director), cinematographer Lawrence Sher and the actor who played the role of Joker, Joaquin Phoenix.
It is unfortunate that Americans are feeling this fear at all; people are hoping that the film does not motivate acts of violence of any kind. Therefore, if anyone sees anything suspicious of any kind, they should speak up. It could potentially save lives.