Published Sep 26, 2019Amidst growing controversy concerning Todd Phillips's new Joker film starring Joaquin Phoenix, the director has fired back once again against claims that the film's dark nature could inspire violence.
In an interview with The Wrap, Phillips spoke out against the "far left" voicing concerns about the film.
"I think it's because outrage is a commodity, I think it's something that has been a commodity for a while," Phillips said. "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.
"Isn't it good to have these discussions about these movies, about violence? Why is that a bad thing if the movie does lead to a discourse about it? We didn't make the movie to push buttons."
His statement comes in part as a response to the U.S. military's proactive approach to dealing with the potential threat of gun violence in the U.S.
Earlier this week, the military issued a memo to its personnel warning them that, "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."
Back in 2012, 12 people were murdered in Aurora, CO, during a theatre screening of The Dark Night Rises. Earlier this week, the families of the Aurora cinema shooting victims penned an open letter to Phillips and Warner Bros., asking that they use their platform to rally against gun violence in the States.
Warner Bros. replied in a statement on Tuesday (September 24) saying "neither the fictional character Joker, nor the film, is an endorsement of real-world violence of any kind."
Phillips himself also responded, asking why other violent films are not held to the same standards.
"The one that bugs me more," he said in an interview with the Associated Press, "is the toxic white male thing when you go, 'Oh, I just saw John Wick 3.' He's a white male who kills 300 people and everybody's laughing and hooting and hollering. Why does this movie get held to different standards? It honestly doesn't make sense to me."
Joker hits theatres on October 4. Read Exclaim!'s review.