Warner Bros. has disinvited print and broadcast journalists from the Joker world premiere. The event takes place this weekend in Hollywood at the TCL Chinese Theater. Photographers will be allowed to take pictures on the red carpet, but no journalists will be permitted, which means director Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix won't be answering any questions. The news comes after a huge backlash against the movie and its portrayal of violence ignited over the last few weeks. Some believe that the movie will inspire others to go out and commit acts of violence.
The Joker world premiere marks the movie's first public screening outside of a festival. The DC standalone has been in the headlines a lot over the past few weeks with Aurora shooting survivors and family members upset about the apparent "message" it sends. Keep in mind, none of these people have seen the movie and have only read what was written about it. Warner Bros. had this to say about their decision to block print and broadcast journalists from the red carpet premiere.
"Our red carpet is comprised of photographers only. A lot has been said about Joker, and we just feel it's time for people to see the film."
Joker director Todd Phillips has been pretty upset over the controversy surrounding the movie. He doesn't believe that it is glorifying violence and does not believe it will be a message to people in the real-world who relate to Joaquin Phoenix's portrayal of Arthur Fleck. The director has cited this year's third John Wick movie as a very violent movie that did not get any of the backlash that Joker has.
Joaquin Phoenix believes people will know they are watching a work of fiction on the big screen when Joker opens next weekend. With that being said, there have been police departments all over North America who are beefing up security at these showings after anonymous tips about possible attacks. Even the United States military is on alert. Phoenix and Todd Phillips are hoping that once more people see Joker, they'll realize it's nothing like what has been talked about in the headlines over the past two weeks.
When Joker first premiered overseas, critics gave it heaps of praise with many talking about Academy Awards nominations. However, the conversation has shifted since then as fear and paranoia have started to spread. For now, Joaquin Phoenix, Todd Phillips, and the studio want the movie to do all of the talking, which could prove to be a wise decision. Or, it could backfire. Whatever the case may be, the studio is standing firm and no print or broadcast journalists will be asking the cast and crew any questions on the red carpet. If anything, it should make for a pretty relaxed night for the everybody involved. Variety was the first to report on the studio's red carpet decision.