While a lot of people are excited for the release of Joker next month, the citizens of Aurora Colorado are still haunted by the mass shooting that took place during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises back in 2012. The family members of the Aurora shooting victims have written a letter to WB about their concerns with the film, and now WB has released their own statement.
As per Entertainment Weekly, WB wrote:
“Gun violence in our society is a critical issue, and we extend our deepest sympathy to all victims and families impacted by these tragedies… 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. 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.”
If anything, the families of the victims aren’t really asking for a boycott or ban of the movie. What they want is to urge the studio to donate to help victims of gun violence, “end political contributions to candidates who take money from the NRA and vote against gun reform” and “use your political clout and leverage in Congress to actively lobby for gun reform.”
In the end, the cinema where the shooting took place won’t be screening the film. It’s worth noting that though the shooting took place during a screening of WB’s TDKR, it was a misreport that the shooter was referring to himself as “Joker.” Sure his hair was colored red, but he wasn’t alluding to the character at all when he was on his spree.
Catch Joker when it hits cinemas Oct. 4.