AOC Weighs in on Joker Stairs: “Keep Your Instagram Posts Outside of the Boogie Down”

Joaquin’s Phoenix’s dance down a long set of stairs resonated with fans of Joker. The film has turned the stairway in the Bronx where the scene was filmed into a tourist attraction. The site has become so popular that the volume of visitors is starting to irritate Bronx residents. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who grew up in the Bronx and represents its eastern side as part of New York’s 14th Congressional District. TMZ caught up with Ocasio-Cortez and asked her about the stairs. “When I was growing up, everyone would tell us to stay away from those steps or go with a friend or whatever. The Bronx is much safer now and I’m happy to say that but I think the way a lot of us feel is ‘keep your Instagram posts outside of the Boogie Down. This is for us.’”

She also noted that people were dancing down those steps, as skating, long before Phoenix. “People have been doing that dance for a long time,” she says. She also suspects it will remain a tourist attraction, but says, “We got to own it though. We can’t let anyone take that away from us”

As the throngs of Instagram photographers and models began crowding the structure, someone hung a flyer on a nearby phone pole. It reads, "It is disrespectful to treat our community and residents as a photo opportunity for your social media or 'it' moment. This is real life, not a movie and we're not jokin'." Despite the local frustration, some in the Bronx’s local government maintain hope that the influx of tourists will boost sales at local businesses.

Joker has made $250 million at the domestic box office. It's made over $700 million worldwide and has a shot at becoming the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time. It is already Warner Bros.'s biggest release of 2019.

Joker is a grounded, R-rated origin story for Batman's archnemesis, the Joker. Phoenix plays Arthur Fleck, who descends into madness and emerges as the clown-faced killer known as the Joker. The film also stars Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Bill Camp, Shea Whigham, and Marc Maron.

What do you think of the the Bronx's "Joker stairs" becoming a tourist attraction? Let us know in the comments. Joker is now playing in theaters.


Upcoming DC Films movies include Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on February 7, 2020, Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5, 2020, The Batman on June 25, 2021, The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021, and Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2022.

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