Tags: Gun Control | Gun Rights | joker | warning | army | gunviolence | massmurder

'Joker' Director Downplays Glorifying, Inciting Gun Violence

todd phillps andjoaquin phoenix at the opening of the "joker"
Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips attend the "Joker" Premiere at cinema UGC Normandie son September 23, 2019 in Paris, France. (Sipa via AP Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 25 September 2019 07:39 PM

While the U.S. Army is issuing warnings of potential mass shootings at screenings of the movie "Joker" early next month, director Todd Phillips is rejecting the hysteria of his film starring Joaquin Phoenix.

"We didn't make the movie to push buttons," Phillips told TheWrap. "I literally described to Joaquin at one point in those three months as like, 'Look at this as a way to sneak a real movie in the studio system under the guise of a comic book film.'

"It wasn't, 'We want to glorify this behavior.' It was literally like 'Let's make a real movie with a real budget and we'll call it f–ing "Joker."' That's what it was."

Still, the threat of gun violence is real in our modern society, and the Army distributed a warning to service members to be prepared to "run, hide, fight" in the event of a shooting, Gizmodo reported.

"When entering theaters, identify two escape routes, remain aware of your surroundings, and remember the phrase 'run, hide, fight,'" the Army memo read, per the report. "Run if you can. If you're stuck, hide (also referred to as 'sheltering in place'), and stay quiet. If a shooter finds you, fight with whatever you can."

The warning reportedly came amid "credible" social media chatter from "incels," an online subculture of people who are "involuntary celibate." Incels idolize the Joker character and there has been a mass murder shooting at a Batman movie before.

"Posts on social media have made reference to involuntary celibate ('incel') extremists replicating the 2012 theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, at screenings of the Joker movie at nationwide theaters," the Army memo warned. "This presents a potential risk to DOD personnel and family members, though there are no known specific credible threats to the opening of the Joker on 4 October.

"Incels are individuals who express frustration from perceived disadvantages to starting intimate relationships. Incel extremists idolize violent individuals like the Aurora movie theater shooter. They also idolize the Joker character, the violent clown from the Batman series, admiring his depiction as a man who must pretend to be happy, but eventually fights back against his bullies."

Warner Bros. issued a statement denouncing gun violence.

"Gun violence in our society is a critical issue, and we extend our deepest sympathy to all victims and families impacted by these tragedies," the statement read. "Our company has a long history of donating to victims of violence, including Aurora, and in recent weeks, our parent company joined other business leaders to call on policymakers to enact bi-partisan legislation to address this epidemic.

"At the same time, Warner Bros. believes that one of the functions of storytelling is to provoke difficult conversations around complex issues. Make no mistake: neither the fictional character Joker, nor the film, is an endorsement of real world violence of any kind. It is not the intention of the film, the filmmakers or the studio to hold this character up as a hero."

Phillips, the director, rejected the hysteria as an attempt to promote gun control and politicize gun violence tragedies.

"I think it's because outrage is a commodity – I think it's something that has been a commodity for a while," Phillips told TheWrap. "What's outstanding to me in this discourse in this movie is how easily the far left can sound like the far right when it suits their agenda. It's really been eye opening for me."

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While the U.S. Army is issuing warnings of potential mass shootings at screenings of the movie "Joker" early next month, director Todd Phillips is rejecting the hysteria of his film starring Joaquin Phoenix."We didn't make the movie to push buttons," Phillips told TheWrap....
joker, warning, army, gunviolence, massmurder
Wednesday, 25 September 2019 07:39 PM
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