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entertainment

Many puzzled online over news that 'Joker' may never be shown on Japanese TV

49 Comments
By SoraNEws24

On Halloween, the normally festive atmosphere of Tokyo turned dark when a 24-year-old man stabbed a random train passenger in the chest and started fires inside the cars. In the aftermath, the attacker told police he intended to kill so that he himself would get the death penalty, adding “I wanted to be like the Joker.”

Although the Batman villain has appeared in countless books, TV shows, and movies, reports say the attacker was referring specifically to Joaquin Phoenix’s Oscar-winning role in the 2019 film "Joker." Normally, high-grossing and award-winning films such as this would be slated to appear on broadcast television by this time. However, a source in the TV industry tells Tokyo Sports that there’s a good chance it will be “permanently shelved” under the current circumstances.

The source singles out the scene in which Phoenix’s character murders three people on a train as the reason. In addition to the Halloween attack, there has been a series of recent incidents on trains in Japan including an arson attempt on a shinkansen line on Nov 8 and an assault on another shinkansen line on Nov 9. On Aug 6, there was a multiple stabbing on a train in Tokyo.

With all the recent train-based violence, broadcasting a movie with a pivotal train murder scene was already dicey, but a person actually dressed as the Joker seemed to be the final nail in the coffin.

Reaction online has largely stood up in defense of the movie, and said that fingers should be pointed at the criminals and the media attention they get instead.

“The movie’s not the problem.”

“Don’t blame the movie for what people do.”

“This is like giving in to terrorism, isn’t it?”

“If we do this then we can’t make any movies for fear someone will misunderstand the characters.”

“I think the constant media coverage of the attack is a bigger problem than some movie.”

“What the source means to say is that they can’t get any sponsors for it so it’s not worth showing.”

“There are still lots of ways to see it anyway, so no problem.”

As the last comment points out, this is only the case for broadcast TV and "Joker" will remain readily available on video and streaming services in Japan. Still, televised feature films are a popular thing here, with Nippon TV’s weekly prime-time movie showcase "Friday Roadshow" remaining a strong cultural loadstone.

Curiously, the many comments defending the movie all seemed to overlook the irony that "Joker's" rather heavy-handed message regarding the importance of proper mental health support might actually make it a more worthwhile film to show in light of recent events.

*Source: Tokyo Sports, *My Game News Flash

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

49 Comments
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Censorship will never work.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Only in Japan.

-6 ( +12 / -18 )

Truth be told, I wouldn't really have expected this type of movie to be shown on terrestrial TV (even before the train attacks). BS satellite, well, perhaps. Pay-satellite (Skyperfect, Star Channel), yes, no doubt about it. But terrestrial TV, hmm...

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Silliness. Scraping the bottom of the barrel. - There is no “anger” ANY where in this whole piece to support the over-sensationalized headline and splash photo:

- “The movie’s not the problem.” “I think the constant media coverage of the attack is a bigger problem than some movie.” “What the source means to say is that they can’t get any sponsors for it so it’s not worth showing.” “There are still lots of ways to see it anyway, so no problem.” -

More daily desperation to use regurgitated, filler content when there is so many, much more interesting and uplifting “Entertainment” stories to pursue.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

And therefore raise the movie to cult status.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

It’s on Netflix anyway

18 ( +18 / -0 )

You are more likely to be driven nuts by the endless wide shows and food porn than you are a mediocre Hollywood movie.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Strange to censor a harmless icon views by millions for more than 50 years, just because of the actions of one person. (Of whom.I would say is mentally disturbed).

5 ( +7 / -2 )

who watches japanese tv anyway? every single time I turn it on by accident I see either silly hair Himuro, Haruna, or one of the same 5-10 faces that's been on tv since I came to Japan more than a decade ago

10 ( +12 / -2 )

The source singles out the scene in which Phoenix’s character murders three people on a train as the reason.

Japan has successfully pushed class consciousness underground but it is rising again because of disparities, especially with the pandemic. The people the Joker murders are Wall Street types harassing a working class woman, and the audience feels no sympathy for them. Maybe that is the real reason.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Didn’t think this would make it on regular TV at prime time, and given it’s nature and popularity, would be to expensive and a poor choice for late night (11pm -1 am) showings for at least 15 years.

This is only an issue for a teenager without friends, money, and access to a streaming service.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If that is the case, then Japan should stop NHK DEPRESSING dramas, close game centers, Pachinko parlors, Comic book stores, block online games, close porno bars and love hotels, and so on & on., violence is all around us daily only few are affected, a Collective Punishment is what this is called.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It's easier to blame and censor a film than it is for Japan to accept that support for mental health in Japan is a joke!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Watching movies or TV where people are killing each other all the time is a parasite on our civilization , if i may be bold enough to call us civilized.

People have become desensitized to the reality that watching so much gruesome violence on various tv and movies is a sickness.

Supervillains and superheroes are both violent if you haven't noticed already.

All these old samurai movies and shows on Japanese tv are so violent.

Even cartoons , comics , anime are so violent.

This is what the children our future of humanity are being programmed with .

Its sick !

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Not only in Japan. Streaming services have even pulled some old Seinfeld episodes because they are "culturally insensitive" in this PC day and age. Or try looking for the 1991 episode of the Simpsons with Michael Jackson. It's gone. The list goes on and on. Movies and tv aren't the problem and shouldn't be censored.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The national news site in Japan reports a possibility the Joker might be banned from viewing on Japanese TV .

So they broadcast a clip of the scene that encouraged multiple violent crimes on the news site article for us to view.

How ridiculous and hypocritical is that ?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Thank God for bit torrents.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Thank God for full access to a US Cable subscription!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

They should ban all the western movies!

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Get stuff on DVD whilst you still can. They can't ban it or censor it if you have a copy on physical media. Streaming is far more censorship compliant.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I did rent this movie last year.

The music was good, ( I discovered Disorder from Joy Division) but I do not understand why it had so many awards. It was full of free violence and murders, with a brutal and bloodily end.

As said above, viewers will turn to Internet, or videos stores

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The word "train" needs to be inserted somewhere in the first sentence.

Moderator: Thank you. It has been added.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Anyone watching Japanese TV other than to check the weather forecast needs a reality check.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It’s definitely a super sick movie that could mess with someone’s brain…..I would not let people below 16 minimum watch it and only with guidance.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Why would anyone want to watch a movie on regular TV now anyway? You get interrupted at regular intervals with lengthy commercial breaks, which they usually have to edit out a good chunk of the movie itself to make up for, plus all the other edits they make to make it safe for TV, etc.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I use lookmovie or F movies .

No one censors me ha

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I mean, if we looked seriously into the reasons why people do things that are illegal, violent, antisocial etc. we'd end up banning pretty much everything.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Currently free on Amazon and Netflix. I can't believe people depend on regular tv filled with commercials. Heck, you could probably rent it for under 300yen.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker was sending a message. That message’s destination couldn’t be more far from Japan. Yes, mental health. But let’s worry about human stupidity too.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Movies shouldn't be 'free' For those who use lookmovies/F movies or any Torrent services then you don't even have the right to comment on the merits or demerits of a movie full stop. You contribute nothing.

Netflix and Amazon Prime aren't free whoever said that above, we do all pay a sub. Paying for one is generally worth it.

Wowow and Starchannel are horribly overpriced for the content they provide and DTT show very few movies with commercials.

Japanese TV is not in a great place, we all know that and it's never going to improve - but we are not the target market.

Cable TV here is in a dire place due to advertising restrictions imposed upon them by the Government to protect the big commercial networks.

At the end of the day if the 'Joker' is destined not to be shown on commercial TV then so be it. It would be cut anyway, and filled with commercials to fit a certain time slot. The Censorship is irrelevant.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

There’s much more violence in other programs and films. What if somebody dressed up as a samurai and jumped on a train with a sword attacking people? Would samurai television programs be taken off the air?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Japan is one of the leading producers -- if not the lead -- of violent video games, porn, and horror movies, not to mention all of those in anime, but they'll blame and shelve a foreign movie, which won Academy Awards, for domestic acts of violence? Cowards.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Now that's stupid given how many Joker-like anime and manga are produced each year here in Japan.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What are you paying for @zichi? If if doesn't offer you value, then stop paying. That model is dead. You should only pay for what you want these days.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan is one of the leading producers -- if not the lead -- of violent video games, porn, and horror movies, not to mention all of those in anime, but they'll blame and shelve a foreign movie, which won Academy Awards, for domestic acts of violence? Cowards.

Yup!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

theResident: "You should only pay for what you want these days."

You tell that to NHK?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Joaquin was good

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's not full ban or censorship as you can freely watch via streaming or rental video.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Thank God for bit torrents.

Joker is widely available in Japan, in physical media or on streaming services.

Advertising that you endorse illegal downloading is not a smart move, especially in Japan.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If a person or people find watching other people getting murdered or killed entertaining via TV's or movies or from any source , thats when you know there's something wrong with our society.

All these violent movies and tv shows are really not a healthy subject to be used as entertainment.

Sometimes people get accidentally murdered making the movies.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Godzilla banned too?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If a person or people find watching other people getting murdered or killed entertaining via TV's or movies or from any source , thats when you know there's something wrong with our society.

All these violent movies and tv shows are really not a healthy subject to be used as entertainment.

Sometimes people get accidentally murdered making the movies.

That describes every society in human history. Depictions of murder have been entertainment since there has been entertainment.

This is a tired and long exhausted debate.

The not so subtle dig at Baldwin is also tired. People accidentally die doing all kinds of things. ‘Accidentally murdered’? Give it a rest Ironside.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Again who cares if Japan don’taurvthe joker. Japanese have a lot of yakuza killing movies and AV rape videos sold for over decades and yet crime continues. Can’t blame movies but again who care what the Japanese like or dislike

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is just like Old Boy case, this will be forgotten.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Both in the original TV series, and now in real life, . . . a terrifying character . . . .

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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