Blog 5: Topic Research


This article by the Washington Post discusses the recent controversy over the violent scenes of the film Joker and Todd Phillips’ (the director) reaction to it. This article shows the concerns of many people over the movie’s violence and how it may potentially inspire others to commit violent actions in the real world. Phillips explained that his intentions were not to glorify violence, but to illustrate the lack of love and compassion in the world. Overall he emphasizes that violence in his film is meant to reflect society and its issues in reality.

This opinion piece from Forbes talks about the “myth” around film causing violence in the real world. Writer Scott Mendelson argues that going to see a movie is not going to turn an empathic person into a murder. Also, he points out that other bloody R rated films like Rambo: Last Blood haven’t caused any controversy but Joker has.

This article by Massachusetts General Hospital explains a study that shows that violent media does not cause violent behavior in children. There were correlations between hours watching TV/movies and aggressive acts, but only in a small percentage of children and young adults mainly because they don’t know the difference between fantasy and reality. The article also puts emphasis on parents and how they should monitor their own children.

Some stakeholders of the rhetorical issue:

Film makers: If the audience is too worried about certain scenes causing real-life violence, filmmakers could make less money on their films and have less creative license to actually make a movie in their style.

Film Enthusiasts: Avid film watchers may not see a lot of gritty, realistic, or intense movies if people are concerned about violence or filmmakers decide not to create these types of films due to potential controversy. As a person who enjoys dramatic, “character study” type films, my movie options could be limited due to this issue.

I plan to show this rhetorical issue by showing how films are meant to reflect society, not cause violent actions in reality. I might also involve the idea that parents should watch their children and the media they’re exposed to rather than blame delinquent behavior on violent film altogether.