Saturday Night Live is back for Season 45, and you had to know that the show would do something with all the controversy surrounding Joker. The show did not disappoint as a Downton Abbey sketch slowly turned into a long-play joke about the embroiled superhero film.
Downton Abbey has long been a punching bag for people making jokes about the show's rather leisurely pace compared with some of the television programs that get brought up like Game of Thrones.
Still, it is pretty funny to house the entire bit in an otherwise normal skewing of Downton Abbey. Then at the last second announce: "This has been an ad for Joker. It's not perfect, but at least stuff happens. In Theaters Now."
Todd Phillips' movie is still about a week from hitting theaters and the controversy has only intensified in the days leading up to the release. At Joker's world premiere on Saturday night at the TCL Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, there was more security present than usual premiere protocol. Variety reported that check-in perimeters were extended a few feet away from the building and that cars housing talent had to be inspected by police with K9 units.
Warner Bros. had announced that press' access to talent at the event had been pulled. A studio spokesperson told Variety, "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."
This all follows earlier controversy stemming from a security bulletin sent to military members from the Department of Defense. io9 reported that the bulletin included, "If you're stuck, hide (also known as 'sheltering in place), and stay quiet. If a shooter finds you, fight with whatever you can."
Warner Brothers has issued a statement about the main stream responses to all the controversy, which you can read in its entirety below.
"Gun violence in our society is a critical issue, and we extend our deepest sympathy to all victims and families impacted by these tragedies," reads the statement. "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."
Are you excited to see this movie? Joker hits theaters October 4th.