- Film & TV
- 25 Sep 19
Joker sparked some controversy over its depiction of its violent protagonist.
The new Joker movie may be a hit with critics but the film also sparked some controversy during the last few weeks.
Back in 2012, a mass shooting during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises in the Aurora Cinema in Denver left twelve people dead. Concerned that Joker might glorify violence, friends and families of the victims reached out to Warner Bros with a letter.
"When we learned that Warner Bros was releasing a movie called Joker that presents the character as a protagonist with a sympathetic origin story, it gave us pause", the letter reads, "We support your right to free speech and free expression. But as anyone who has ever seen a comic book movie can tell you: with great power comes great responsibility. That's why we're calling on you to use your massive platform and influence to join us in our fight to build safer communities with fewer guns."
Warner Bros now responds to the concerned letter with a statement. "Gun violence in our society is a critical issue, and we extend our deepest sympathy to all victims and families impacted by these tragedies", a spokesperson said, "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."
They add, "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."
The Aurora cinema, where the mass shooting happened, will not show the movie.
Joker debuts in Irish cinemas on October 4. You can watch it first though - just join our competition to win two tickets to the premiere screening of the movie.