For those who need a quick update and any and all things “Joker controversy” The Thrillist has a great breakdown here.
From the beginning the “Joker will inspire violence” controversy was silly and entirely manufactured. At any moment ANY work of art (Music, Movies, Shows) can influence violence. The thing is though it’s been disproven in study after study that the weight of that influence is minimal.
Art has been a scapegoat since paintings and books were considered demonic and often burnt. Again, influence and desensitization are applicable, but to a degree that is fractional. If someone is troubled enough to commit a massive attack of violence – some other more fucked up shit has happened to them in their life.
I will see Joker this weekend. I planned on seeing it before comment on this specific issue – but there have been countless gore-fests and dark movies that I have seen so I feel like my measurement on this will be pretty accurate. Can it still inspire acts of violence? Sure. Again anything can. And if it does I hope there isn’t a knee-jerk reaction of censorship – mainly because it won’t hope and will distract from methods and policies that could actually help.
Now onto Todd Phillips. Every interview I’ve seen this guy do shows me that he is not an interview kind of guy. He likes his weed. He likes his writing. Typical detached artist now being pigeon-held to countless interviews and soon Oscar campaigning.
Do I agree with his statements regarding comedy? Yes and no. If you spend a lot of time on social media you’re probably sick of outrage. I’m sick and tired of pulling my pitchfork out over everything. When I read this quote my first thought was: “I don’t really care what Todd Phillips thinks about this.”
Obviously a lot of other people care as they carefully craft their Twitter dunks and jabs. In the end you have to let the market decide. Would Hangover be as successful if it released today? I absolutely think it would. There would be outrage, it’s inevitable in anything, but it would still make bank.
If a comedian or artist constantly makes jokes about an oppressed group or delves in stereotypes, in today’s world, they wouldn’t be profitable – there’s a limit.
Now Todd Phillips is getting more attention than he ever has. Now Hangover trilogy and his other films are being looked at under a microscope. People who never would’ve been subjected to the triggers in those films now get to read about it on Twitter.
It’s counter-productive to our ongoing evolution as a more inclusive society.