FOX News Attempts to Drop Kick Kick-Ass

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We figured it was just a matter of time before FOX News turned it’s focus on decrying the soon to be released movie Kick-Ass.  For those who don’t know about the comic book turned movie, it focuses on the idea of what if super heroes were real, and why hadn’t anyone tried to be one.  The main protagonists of the series tend to be male teenagers and FOX’s focus, Chloe Moretz, the 13 year old girl playing the character Hit Girl (who was 11 at the time of the filming).  Fans of the comic series already know this girl lives up to her name, wielding guns, swords and swearing like a sailor (expect her to steal the show).

FOX thinks an a movie rated R shouldn’t include such a young heroine as it’s star (we’ll skip over the violent movies FOX’s parent company has released).  Never mind there’s been numerous R movies in the past that included children and included children either as victims of violence or perpetrators.

From their story Joanne Cantor, Professor of Communication Arts at University of Wisconsin-Madison had this to say:

Seeing an attractive young girl playing such a violent role gives the message that this type of behavior (and language) is not outrageous. It makes it harder for parents to declare such behavior out-of-bounds when popular movies glorify it or make it humorous.  People may be able to understand that the movie is tongue-in-cheek, but that doesn’t necessarily undo the desensitizing effect of the movie.  Younger children may not be able to see it in theaters, but when it comes out on DVD, children of all ages will have access to it — and young children have less capacity to discount what they see.

Let’s dissect that nugget of wisdom:

  1. “Seeing an attractive young girl playing such a violent role” – Why can’t women play violent roles?  Why can’t they be attractive and do it?  Uma Thurman was pretty violent in Kill Bill, was that ok because she was an adult?  Is it ok because she’s attractive?
  2. “Younger children may not be able to see it in theaters, but when it comes out on DVD, children of all ages will have access to it..” – So, movie theaters card for kids for R movies but movie rentals or sales don’t?  What proof is the access greater?  Isn’t this an issue of parenting and controlling what you want your kid to see?  But lets move on….
  3. “and young children have less capacity to discount what they see” – Cause adults are so good at this.  No adult has ever taken what they’ve learned from lets say FOX News and then threatened violence.  Oh wait.

When it comes to the swearing, I’d suggest FOX do some of that field reporting and see how kids actually talk these days.  Spend some time on the DC metro with a few teens, and I’m sure you’d hear a few “F” bombs if not worse.  Matthew Vaughn, the film’s director had this to say about the swearing including the use of the “C” word:

“The script didn’t say the C-word, but it was in the comic,” said director Matthew Vaughn. “There had been some fanboy speculation and advance complaints that the film would shy away from reproducing that memorable line. Yet I still thought, ‘You know what? This is too far. I can’t do it.’ But we did all these takes and it just wasn’t having any impact.”

Vaughn said that Moretz and her mom then agreed to do one take with the controversial word included, and Moretz has since come forth and said she would never use such a term outside of the role or else she’ll be “grounded for the rest of (her) life.”

FOX does give a positive side of such a young girl playing hero and being the one who saves the day:

Interestingly, Dr. Susan Lipkins, Psychologist and CEO of Real Psychology, believes the film could actually have a positive impact on young ones.

“I thought that is was kind of cool that it looked like the person with the best abilities was really a girl—a young girl, and I think that it’s really a reflection on how our society’s changing and how youth are way more capable than the older people, especially in this digital age,” Lipkins explained. “If anything it can be empowering to kids, to girls, it’s not a boy again who’s saving the world, but a girl who has power.”

But quickly the article shifts it’s focus on the psychological affects on the starlet.  Never mind young children have played parts just as violent in the past and seem to be doing fine.  Uproars like this seem to focus on young female actresses and such material (the boys can handle this I guess).  A few years ago Dakota Fanning dealt with a similar issue for her movie Hounddog which included a scene in which she was raped.  I’m hard pressed to find a similar outcry for a young male actor.

Expect more “think of the children” from FOX in the week leading up to the film’s April 16th release.