Why Jim Carrey's words on Twitter promoting non-violence set in motion a chain of events that are ominous for the entertainment industry.
Deja vu is becoming more and more common these days in the entertainment industry. Case in point? With his recent decision to criticise his own production team on the upcoming superhero film Kick-Ass 2 for the level of violence in the movie, Jim Carrey has echoed recent instances on the hit Comedy Central TV show Two & A Half Men where specific actors have felt it acceptable to speak out against their co-workers with supposedly noble intentions.
This is not of course an attempt to deride Carrey's motives for his condemning Kick-Ass 2, as at least on the surface, these motives are undoubtedly reasonable. In the wake of the infamous Sandy Hook shootings in Newton, the American star has claimed that films such as Kick-Ass 2 greatly trivalize and falsify the severe impacts of real-world violence upon society, and in doing so thus warp their audience's perceptions of violence and its consequences. No blogger such as myself will likely want to contest this matter- however, this seemingly righteous approach from the Hollywood star is something that we can and should draw into question.
Freedom of speech naturally remains one of the defining elements of human society in 2013, a freedom which of course should be maintained in the days ahead. Nevertheless, when it comes to a contract that actors and actresses sign with their production teams, discretion is often rightly advised in terms of how that celebrity star's personal opinions on a production are displayed during promotional periods. With this in mind, that Carrey has elected to openly speak out against the tone of Kick-Ass 2 a mere two months before its release seems self-obsessive and on some level arrogant. On a surface level, it may seem to this acclaimed US thespian that this approach was the 'right' one to take, supporting a sense of honesty in our industry, yet to a large extent this statement of pacifism and opposition could well destabilise a budding motion picture.
Were Kick-Ass 2 to be classed as an 'indie' film in which Carrey's role was minimal, the ramifications of his moral decision would not be of such importance. As that is not the case by any means, though, the situation becomes altogether more serious, and I would hate for the situation where Charlie Sheen and Angus T. Jones have essentially sent Two & A Half Men to its death by publicly opposing the show and its team to repeat itself in the case of 20th Century Fox's much-anticipated sequel. With any luck, fans will still come out in full force to witness what should be one of the filmic highlights of 2013, yet in a Summer where the follow-up is competing against box office behemoths like Man of Steel, The Wolverine and more, it seems absolutely injust that its chances should be derailed by so trivial a matter as one of individual beliefs.
Here's the ultimate problem I would like to pose to you, then: can and should an actor ever have to place a contract of production and promotion above their personal beliefs? To a large extent, no, and to answer definitively in the affirmative would only serve to derail that necessary freedom of speech we allow in the society of today. However, I believe that it is at least in a thespian's interests as a member of such a competitive industry to at least provide a front of loyalty to their respective film or television show, even if they later elect to criticise that production after their contract with it has concluded. Carrey only needed to have waited until Kick-Ass 2 hit cinemas and started bringing in cash to oppose its levels of violence, rather than causing a great deal of unnecessary marketing issues for Mark Millar, 20th Century Fox and the entire production team in terms of how they promote a production accused of corrupting an event in US history that will go down in infamy.
That age-old saying that we should 'think before we speak' perhaps is the most relevant factor in such a situation as this. Before the likes of Jim Carrey, Charlie Sheen and future aspiring stars attempt to oppose a production they are an integral part of, they should at least possess the common decency and intellect to consider the negative effects their opposition could cause for their production team and the countless staff within it who have families to feed and lives to lead. No-one is claiming that we should rob actors and actresses of their freedom of speech when it comes to marketing films, television shows and the like, but I believe that they should still attempt to keep their personal ego in check long enough to await the release or broadcast of the product, allowing their colleagues to reap the much-deserved benefits of their hard work rather than depriving them of this simply because they couldn't wait to spill their own beliefs on personal matters.