People Are Recreating This Iconic Joker Scene & It’s Causing A New Controversy

Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures.
For a minute, it started to look like the Joker hype — and controversy — might be dying down, but no such luck. Now, fans of the dark origin story are flocking in droves to the South Bronx to revisit the scene of a memorable moment from the film.
According to a Reuters report, tourists from all over are coming to the Bronx to recreate the pivotal moment in which the Joker accepts his new identity and, finally free, manically dances up and down a step street. “It’s good for us. You know, publicity,” a longtime resident, Jose Cruz, told Reuters. “People don’t have to be scared of the Bronx no more.”
Advertisement
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who famously grew up in Bronx, remembered avoiding the steps growing up. “Everyone would tell us to stay away from those steps or go with a friend. The Bronx is much safer now and I’m happy to say that,” she told TMZ. She added, though, that a lot of Bronx natives felt territorial over the now-trendy steps. “I think the way a lot of us feel is, listen, like, keep your Instagram posts outside of the Boogie Down. This is for us.”
Twitter seemed to agree with the later sentiment.
Others have pointed out that despite the controversy surrounding the film's messaging, and the resulting craze around the now infamous set of stairs, the dance sequence does make for an excellent meme.
Less than two weeks after its release, Joker has grossed over $737 million internationally. But after its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, critics worried the film might send a dangerous message to troubled, violent white men. “Did we really need a brutal movie about a white terrorist figure who uses gun violence to enact revenge on the society that rejects him?” writes Refinery29’s Kathleen Newman-Bremang. “And did we need it now?”
Many theaters did provide additional security at early screenings of the comic book film after family members of the Aurora shooting victims voiced their concern about its messaging. Despite the public's wariness, star Joaquin Phoenix and director Todd Phillips have continued to defend Joker, maintaining that viewers know the difference between right and wrong on their own.
Advertisement

More from Movies

R29 Original Series