In 2012, a gunman open fired on a crowd of movie goers watching “The Dark Knight” in Aurora, Colorado. When questioned by the police, the shooter repeatedly told them he was The Joker.
Now, the families of the victims of the shooting are asking that Warner Brothers donate to anti-gun groups and sever ties with politicians who back the NRA. Their request comes a few weeks ahead of the new “Joker” movie, which hits theaters next month.
“We are calling on you to be a part of the growing chorus of corporate leaders who understand that they have a social responsibility to keep us all safe,” the letter says. “End political contributions to candidates who take money from the NRA and vote against gun reform. Use your political clout and leverage in Congress to actively lobby for gun reform. Keeping everyone safe should be a top corporate priority for Warner Brothers.”
While they are not calling for people to boycott the new “Joker” film, one family member tells The Hollywood Reporter, “My worry is that one person who may be out there — and who knows if it is just one — who is on the edge, who is wanting to be a mass shooter, may be encouraged by this movie. And that terrifies me.”
Warner Brothers told the outlet they have not seen the letter and can’t comment on it.
The Aurora movie theater does not plan to show “Joker” during its theatrical run.
Joaquin Phoenix, who is getting rave reviews for his portrayal in the film, was recently questioned about the “dangerous” message of the movie.
“Well, I think that, for most of us, you’re able to tell the difference between right and wrong. And those that aren’t are capable of interpreting anything in the way that they may want to. People misinterpret lyrics from songs. They misinterpret passages from books. So I don’t think it’s the responsibility of a filmmaker to teach the audience morality or the difference between right or wrong. I mean, to me, I think that that’s obvious,” he said.