I received this e-mail this morning. I am a member of a national organization for parents of Murdered Children. They work to help families who find themselves in this situation. I would like to share it with you.
POMC has learned that the movie "This Is 40" which is to be released this weekend has a portion where one of the characters jokingly plays a "murder game" with his kids. The character, Larry, prepares to spray his triplets with a hose and says, "Line up! Line up for murder! Come on! Who wants to be killed?" One of the kids screams, "I do!" Larry responds, "Okay, we're eliminating one, we're cheaper already," and then Larry sprays the child. The next kid says, "Murder me!" Larry responds, "Boom, dead. You're dead," adding, "All right, the kids are murdered. That will save us some money." This is offensive before the Connecticut shootings and even more so now. We are asking for an apology or removal of those scenes. We know murder is not a game. National is sending a letter of protest and feel free to also contact the production company.
Awful. In today's world it's totally inappropriate and it would be nice to see a major theatre chain or two refuse to run the picture. But that won't happen.
But you know it's funny. . .
I have some knowledge of the history of film censorship. If a scene like that had appeared in a film from the early 1920s through about 1960, when the Hays Office was riding high and filmmakers really had to toe the mark, it would have elicited nothing but a yawn from the censors and the public. On the other hand, when Rhett Butler said, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn," there was a great indignant outcry that such a thing was permitted. The Legion of Decency and other bluenose groups went berserk.
The difference, of course, was the tenor of the times. In those kinder, gentler days the scene in question wouldn't have been taken as anything more than joking around, because we didn't have the kind of "acting out" then that we're accustomed to today. Of course, it may well be that even then such suggestions had a negative effect on kids, but there were too many barriers in the way to routinely turn them into reality.
The first of which of course is that there were fewer guns, they were harder to get, and there were no assault rifles available to the public.
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. -- George Bernard Shaw
My wife and I are members of POMC, 1994. Anyone who has lost a child by this means knows it's no laughing matter and nothing to be toyed with. Yes, this is in poor taste. Some things just aren't funny.