Even before it’s theatrical release, Todd Phillips’ Joker who’s main character is played by Joaquin Phoenix has been shrouded in controversy even before its theatrical release. From mass shooting threats to the issue of how society sees and deals with mental health the movie has been a constant topic of discussion ever since it's conception, and now we have even more to discuss…
If you haven’t yet seen the movie we won’t try to ruin it too much for you yet, and we aim to give you room to keep your form your own opinions about the film and the creative decisions that were made.
This particular new topic is in regards to a scene late in the film that shows the Joker gingerly dancing down a set of concrete steps in Gotham City. This scene is also shown briefly in the trailer. What is not shared is what precedes this scene. An act of particularly gruesome violence committed by the Joker.
In the staircase scene, Joker dances down the steps to a song called ‘Rock N Roll Part 2’ by a 1970’s hit performer named Gary Glitter. To some who don’t know Glitter the choice of song for this scene may seem innocent enough, and even catchy.
However, in reality, the choice seems to be much more sinister. In 2015 Gary Glitter was convicted of child sex abuse after a string of offences and charges dating back to the ’90s. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison.
The controversy surrounding this song choice is that now, as the film continues to gross revenue in record numbers, Glitter is likely to see some revenue himself due to royalties on his music.
Needless to say, with a film deciding to knowingly give profits to a convicted paedophile, people are outraged. However, it hasn’t appeared to slow down its momentum as this film has already grossed over £200 Million in the box office.
As the movie continues to be shown in theatres, Glitter stands to make profits within the hundreds of thousands to have as a cushion for when he is released from prison. His song Rock and Roll Part 2 had been traditionally played during sporting events in America, however, in 2006 the NFL (National Football League) asked teams to stop using the song after Glitter was charged for sex crimes he committed in Vietnam. In 2012 the NFL banned as the New England Patriots were still using a version of it to celebrate touchdowns.
Undoubtedly, this scene will be burned into the minds of every viewer either for the gruesome acts committed before the scene or for the controversy surrounding it, bad or good it looks like 'Joker' will be remembered for a long while to come.