The Jim Carrey Controversy — Kick-Ass 2 and Gun Violence

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jim carey use FIRSTMovie stars often say stupid things; often about politics or hot button issues. The latest from Jim Carrey is a doozy. He apparently played a character named Colonel Stars and Stripes in the movie Kick-Ass 2. The character is a born-again ex-mobster.

Carrey has said that he had a change of heart about the movie, which opens in mid-August. He claims he isn’t on board with the violence in the film, especially after the Sandy Hook shooting. Over the weekend he tweeted:

“I did Kickass a month b4 Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence. My apologies to e”

That was followed by this tweet: I meant to say my apologies to others involve with the film. I am not ashamed of it but recent events have caused a change in my heart.”

What perplexes me is the fact that the first Kick-Ass film (based on the comic book series) was rather violent. Not to mention the fact that other shootings have happened before he started shooting this (take the one in Colorado at the Batman movie Dark Knight Rises, for example). Was Carrey not aware of these shootings? Is it just the Sandy Hook shooting that got to him? What about other violence in films, that don’t involve guns? Is he also against that? Is he going to speak out regarding the violence in video games, which surely desensitizes kids a lot more than movies probably do.

Carrey has been outspoken when it comes to gun control, and I recall near the end of March, a video he posted online where he sings a country style song called Cold Dead Hand. It makes fun of gun owners and the NRA.

This all reminded me of actor Angus Jones, the kid from the TV show Two and a Half Men. He went on a website and told people not to watch the show because it was garbage. He said he was a Christian and the show went against his values. Jones quickly apologized a few days later. After the following season, he was no longer with the show.

Carrey isn’t telling people not to see the movie, but what does he expect statements like this will do when it comes to how the film does at the box office? There is some speculation that this is all for publicity to help the movie. I seriously doubt that. Kick-Ass was rather successful, and a second one is on track to be as well.

Mark Millar, the executive producer of Kick-Ass 2, responded in a blog post stating: “As you may know, Jim is a passionate advocate of gun control and I respect both his politics and his opinion, but I’m baffled by this sudden announcement as nothing seen in this picture wasn’t in the screenplay 18 months ago. Yes the body-count is very high, but a movie called Kick-Ass 2 really has to do what it says on the tin. This is his decision, but I’ve never quite bought the notion that violence in fiction leads to violence in real-life any more than Harry Potter casting a spell creates more Boy Wizards in real-life. Our job as storytellers is to entertain and our toolbox can’t be sabotaged by curtailing the use of guns in an action-movie.”

I think Millar’s quote is great, except for the Harry Potter bit. That was goofy. Perhaps a better analogy would’ve been movies in the ‘70s, where Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson are shooting everything in sight, but people then were merely protesting that the heavy metal albums were making kids do bad things.

I think if Carrey continues on down this path, the studio should sue him and get a portion of his salary back. Perhaps Carrey can beat them to the punch. I’m guessing he makes around $8 million a movie. He can donate it all to a fund for the Sandy Hook victims. That would be putting his money where his mouth is. Heck, he can even keep a million of it for himself, for the work he actually did during that time, and give the victims the rest. It would be a great gesture, instead of the dopey things he’s saying about this movie and the role of violence in movies leading to violence in real life.

I wish Jim Carrey would’ve come out and told us not to see his last movie – The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. 

jim carrey burt wonderstone

18 comments

  • Jo F.

    I enjoyed reading this story Josh. I just don't know if I agree. I can see somebody doing a movie and having second thoughts about the content of it. I never saw the first movie, so I'm probably not seeing this one. I still think he has a point, though.

  • joshboardfox5

    Jo — I respectfully disagree with you.
    I think if you're so against guns and gun violence, as he's been outspoken about for some time — perhaps he should really read a script, and make sure NO GUN appears in the movie. These stars have been known to demand certain things backstage. Jennifer Lopez wants everything in white, and certain bottled water. Van Halen wanted all the green M&Ms picked out (me personally…I wouldn't want a roadie digging their dirty hands into my M&Ms picking out certain colors). So if they have all these demands, they can surely decide which movies to do. And if you're paid to do a movie, part of the agreement is that you're out promoting it (late night shows, etc). I seriously think the company should consider suing him.

    • Mark Stewart

      I dont think Jim Carrey is in a position to demand anything at this point of his career. The recent shooting at Sandy Hook may have been the one that made him take a more verbal stand against gun violence. I think thats true for most everyone in the country. Not to at all say that all the other shootings and violence against kids were not worthy of speaking up for but maybe this one was so overwheling in the number of kids killed, their young age etc that Jim just had enough this time. I applaud him for it.

  • joshboardfox5

    Mark, I always like the strong points you bring to the table. Let me ask this. If this is the one that really got to Carrey, understandable. So, perhaps Carrey could have him donate the millions he made from the movie, to the victims. Then, his anger and disgust at two things (the shooting, and the movie "glorifying" violence), has a financial reward to the victims and did some good.

    • Mark Stewart

      Maybe you should donate, maybe I should. I think were all disgusted over what happened. I think Carrey speaking out brought just as much awareness as him donating his money could bring. Money can help, but public speaking against it has a more profound effect and is able to reach a wider audience. To stand up for or against something when you know it could hurt the bottom line (or yours for that matter) has an effect that one cannot and will never be able to put a value on.

      • joshboardfox5

        This is where you are completely wrong. Speaking has absolutely no effect. Here's why. You take a person that believes strongly in their right to own a gun. You could have a sobbing mother that just lost her two kids to a nutjob with a gun. That person would say "Yes, that's sad. It doesn't have anything to do with me and my owning a gun. I might even be able to protect my family from the same thing happening."
        So Jim Carrey "Speaking out" on the evils of the movie he was paid handsomely to make, does absolutely nothing in regards to gun violence. Yet, if he donated the most of the millions he got for making the movie, that would most certainly help out the families and/or victims.

        • Mark Stewart

          Does nothing? Just look at how much him speaking out did in this forum alone. Had he donated money I doubt it would have gotten alot of people speaking against the main issue at hand (i.e. gun violence against kids or against people for that matter). They would have spoken about how nice and generous he was and that would have been that in a short period of time for the country as a whole. Results to problems at hand will ALWAYS begin in discussions where people agree or disagree like were doing now, in congress, in schools, in the workplace, or in public forums like this. Again had he donated money it wouldn't have had any permanent effect. We can agree to disagree on this one.

          • joshboardfox5

            The weirdest thing about this is — there was hardly any shooting in this movie!!!! It was almost always fight scenes, and stabbing!

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