The upcoming “Joker” film directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix has been receiving rave reviews from critics, with some rating it 10/10. This remains to be seen as a majority of the public has not seen it, but the film made headlines this week for all the wrong reasons.
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The US Army issued a warning to its soldiers about the possibility of a mass shooting at the screening of the aforementioned film. The email, which was obtained by Gizmodo, was widely distributed and explained what to do if a soldier found himself in a mass shooting situation.
The September 18 email stated military personnel should “identify two escape routes” and to “run, hide, fight” in the event of a shooting. “Run if you can,” the message added. “If you’re stuck, hide (also known as ‘sheltering in place’), and stay quiet. If a shooter finds you, fight with whatever you can.”
The Army sent the email because there were several social media post that the FBI has been monitoring that were considered threats by extremists.
According to the New York Post, the email was to serve as a reminder that certain extremists “idolize the Joker character, the violent clown from the Batman series, admiring his depiction as a man who must pretend to be happy, but eventually fights back against bullies.”
“We do this routinely because the safety and security of our workforce is paramount,” an Army spokesperson said of the email. “We want our workforce to be prepared and diligent on personal safety both inside the workplace and out.”
An FBI spokesperson echoed similar sentients. “While our standard practice is to not comment on specific intelligence products, the FBI is in touch with our law enforcement and private sector partners about the online posts,” the spokesperson said. “As always, we encourage the public to remain vigilant and to promptly report suspicious activity to law enforcement.”
This email was only exemplified after the Aurora, Colorado mass shooting where a man dressed as the Joker entered the theatre and opened fire, killing 12 and injuring 58 more.
The families of those victims have expressed concern about another potential attack. These families issued a statement where they explained they “support free speech and free expression” but they want “to build safer communities with fewer guns.”
The film will be released Oct. 4.