Warner Bros. finally addresses the elephant in the room.
Joaquin Phoenix's portrayal of Joker has received critical acclaim even though the film isn't even out yet. But there have also been growing concerns surrounding the film. Many have been concerned that it would be copy-cat incidents while others believe that in an era where so many mass shootings that are linked to incels, it would create sympathy for the perpetrator of these crimes.
Most recently, a theatre in Aurora, CO revealed they wouldn't be showing The Joker. This is the same theatre where James Holmes killed 12 people and injured seventy during a viewing of Dark Knight.
A group of family members related to the Aurora theatre shooting victims issued a letter to Warner Bros. Although they expressed they disappointment in portraying The Joker in a sympathetic manner, they did say they believe in free speech. However, they urged Warner Bros. to help them combat the gun violence epidemic.
Warner Bros. issued a statement regarding the growing concerns about the movie and the letter they were sent from the victims' parents.
"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."