Since its release last week, Joker brought in a record-breaking $96 million dollars in North America on its opening weekend. This tops previous record holder, Venom, which made $80 million dollars last October. Moreover, it has one of the highest-ranked opening weekends for an R-rated film.
Joker has earned this R-rating, containing mature themes, violent images, and heavy scenes. With this R-rating comes mass controversy in the film. Many have described the film as being “too violent” or “disturbing”. The real controversy is the worries about violent acts being inspired by the film.
Many are worried that this film will cause mass acts of violence. This is mostly a reaction to a previous shooting during an airing of The Dark Knight Rises. However, we find ourselves asking the question “Why this movie?”. This is not the first movie since 2012 to feature the Joker. When Suicide Squad was released, there was no media outrage. Furthermore, there are dozens of movies about violent serial killers who commit despicable acts on the big screen. Why is the press so obsessed with Joker?
Joke of a Reaction to Joker
So-called experts have claimed that this film will cause acts of violence. These same people are spreading the false narrative that violent video games cause violent behavior. In fact, many have claimed that shootings would occur on the airing of the film. So far, no such an event has taken place. However, this prediction of a horrid event was an unhealthy obsession.
It seemed as though they wanted something to happen.
Many journalists spoke out against the film, discussing the potential dangers of viewing. If you google Joker, you’ll see hundreds of articles on the subject. But this fear is irrational. While the film is definitely intense and covers heavy themes, it’s not the first of its kind. It’s October. Many films are coming out depicting brutal violence and terror. In addition, Warner Brothers stated the obvious by clarifying they don’t endorse violence. So why this film?
There is a reason Joker got this attention. To understand why the press was almost begging for violence, it’s important to understand the film. Joker follows a man named Arthur Fleck, an aspiring comedian who suffers from mental illness and lives in poverty. He is abandoned by society and slips through the cracks. He is beaten and cannot catch a break. The film follows his dive into madness until he finally emerges as the clown we all know and love, the Joker.
Why does the media fear this? It’s quite simple. Arthur Fleck is a white male who is abandoned by society and treated like trash. The movie watcher is meant to sympathize with Arthur, but disavow his actions as Joker. This isn’t a theme unique to Joker. However, the press is not happy with a sympathetic white male. Their “fear” is that others who feel abandoned by society will be somehow inspired by Joker and commit acts of violence. Already, several theaters have had a police presence and even the military was alerted. All over a comic book movie.
But it seems that the media was begging for something to happen. Even top news sites like CNN were obsessing over a “copycat” to the Joker occurring. Many have already accused them of practically inviting people to commit mass shootings. It makes sense. Mainstream media has everything to gain from this happening: particularly, views.
Left-wing activists and elites would gain a stir advantage in the culture war as well as the political world. If something were to happen, then they could demonize single white men. Even a day before the film’s release, there were calls to treat incels as potential terrorists. This proposal would only gain legitimacy.
This goes against everything journalism is supposed to stand for. Journalists obsessed over this for months, practically trying to inspire violence. This is outright disgusting. Many people are losing trust in the Mainstream Media. This only adds fuel to their eternal dumpster-fire.
Moreover, these journalists caused some panic in their efforts. The military was on alert, along with plenty of police officers. Theaters were banning masks and costumes. While these may be good precautions, there’s no doubt that an overly obsessed and maliciously motivated media created this panic.