“Joker” Features Violence and Controversy

Parents, don’t let your kids sneak in to this rated R movie


By Carolina Ramos Bonilla, Editor-in-Chief

The long-awaited movie “Joker,” though famous in both ratings and public opinion, has presented a newfound dilemma for concerned parents: How exactly does the R-rated film influence their children? 

In order to assess the effect of the film and offer some answers to concerned family members, The Boulevard sought the opinion of an experienced and certified counselor working amidst the most teenage-concentrated institution in all levels of schooling: the high school. Specifically, Passaic Preparatory Academy

Mrs. Butterworth, a guidance counselor, pointed out how everybody under 17 could really have a misunderstanding of what the story is trying to tell. 

“It’s hard to process even for adults that this actually can be real and that mental illness affects us in ways and for kids to watch this, they might think that it’s okay to act that way instead of seeking help,” Mrs. Butterworth said. “I think kids don’t stop and think about alternate ways to handle situations and they might just act violently because that’s what they see in the movies.” 

Mrs. Butterworth told us that she wouldn’t let her kids watch movies such as “Joker” because she doesn’t think it shows good coping skills, and the last thing she wants her kids to do is to act violently. 

“I had kindergartners who watched the movie ‘Chucky’ all the time and they tend to be more violent, they’re the kids who are reactive,” she said of her experiences as a school counselor. “They’re easy to push a kid or do something to a kid because they’re mad and that’s what they think it’s right to do because that’s what they see in the movies. When you are angry, you hurt,” 

However, some students feel that the fear in “Joker” is not that big of a deal. 

A current senior at the Prep said that this movie has been called “disturbing” for the wrong reasons:

“To me, it was extremely sad. It shows a realistic decline of a mentally ill and a poor man who was bullied, abused and had one bad thing after another happen to him.”

Although some students may feel that “Joker” brings a positive message, the professionals say it’s too disturbing and, at times, misleading for anyone under 17.