On Friday we learned that Warner Bros. decided to cancel the Paris premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, in the wake of the massacre in Aurora, Colorado. Many of us agreed that this was the right thing to do, considering the events, the victims, and the likelihood of a difficult red carpet experience for the cast and crew of the film. Now we have learned that Warner Bros. has cancelled two more premiere events, for the same reason. Are they still doing the right thing? Details inside.
The HuffPost has the report:
Warner Bros. Pictures says it has canceled appearances by the cast and filmmakers of the movie “The Dark Knight Rises” in Mexico and Japan after a shooter killed 12 people and injured at least 50 Friday in a Colorado theater during a midnight premiere of the newest Batman movie.
The studio says actors Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway and Joseph Gordon Levitt will no longer hold press or red carpet events on Monday at Mexico City’s National Auditorium.
Premiere events in Paris were also canceled Friday.
The studio said it would continue with screenings for special guests and promotion winners so as not to disappoint fans.
In Finland, public broadcaster YLE television said movie distributor FS-Film’s entire Internet campaign for “The Dark Knight Rises” has temporarily been shut down and that TV spots have been withdrawn. It was not clear Saturday how long the suspension would last, but it may only be this weekend.
I thought that it was the right move to cancel the Paris premiere and I certainly don’t take issue with further cancellations. What happened was bigger than I can even understand right now; I know from personal experience that when a major loss has occurred you kind of want the whole world to stop, if only for a moment. And perhaps this is one way of creating that energy; as opposed to celebrating at a big fancy premiere.
However, some have suggested that further cancellations only work to celebrate (in a manner of speaking) the act of violence and the shooter himself. One reader on Huffpost wrote the following comment, and I wonder if there is any truth to it:
We are glorifying the perpetrator of this crime by canceling the special events associated with the movie. Out of fear we are giving the actions of one unstable individual more power. Not to mention the enormous amount of press and yet not one American politician is willing discuss considering a ban on assault weapons that expired in 2004 under President Bush’s administration.”
This is such a difficult conversation to have, but I wonder if any of you agree with the reader. Do we give more power to the shooter in this way? Another headline suggested that our focus be entirely on the victims, not the shooter. But is there a way to really do that? Even as our thoughts are with the victims, it’s difficult to ignore the person deemed responsible for these events.