Saturday, 3 May 2014

It's only spousal abuse - LOL.

Trigger warning - violence and domestic abuse.

This evening, Josh and I went to see the last showing of The Grand Budapest Hotel in Bath. We like going to the cinema, and we'd agreed to go with a friend. So, we went in and settled down to the trailers, and, as we always do, turned and nodded or shook our heads after each one to filter out what we'd like to see and what we'd happily miss.

Enter, the hilarious and charming ad for 22 Jump Street. For those who haven't seen it's prequel - the hilarious and charming picture probably described by Empire as 'absolute dross' - it's a cop buddy movie starring Hollywood lumps of gristle Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. So far, so good and nothing to do with spousal abuse, right? Wrong.

As Metro writes - Jenko, played by Tatum, quips: ‘We’re like a power couple.’
Schmidt (Hill) adds: ‘We’re like Rihanna and Chris Brown. You’re a good dancer and sometimes you’re meaner than I’d like you to be.’
Isn't that just hilarious? Lads being lads. Jenko and Schmidt, kicking back, having a few beers, making light of the cuts to Rihanna's face. Smoking a few joints and laughing about old times, football matches, old girlfriends - that time Chris Brown attacked his partner on the way to an award ceremony. 
This whole thing makes me sick. 
It isn't just this ad either, though this is particularly grim. In February last year, the Daily Mail ran a piece about Chris Brown 'opening up' about his 'greatest regret'. Really? The Daily Mail does it's fair share of story slanting. We have scrounging immigrants, workshy single mothers - and what for Chris Brown, someone convicted of assault? Does he confess? Does he come clean? No - he 'opens up'. Even the language of this whole affair is riddled with the inherent bias of a celebrity hungry media. 
My family has had experience of the hell of domestic violence and let me say - abuse of any kind is never funny. When people laugh at the abuse Rihanna suffered at the hands of Chris Brown, they devalue the experience of people across the world who have lived this kind of hell. They might be pop stars, they might live lives that we all could only ever dream of but laugh at this, and you're laughing at people in refuges. Laughing at women who don't believe they could survive alone. Laughing at men who don't think anybody will believe them. 
I, for one, was never going to be queueing at the Odeon to see 22 Jump Street, because it looks like a really crap film. But I hope that those who do go to see it, realise that the butt of this joke isn't Rihanna or Chris Brown. It's the men and women who have to pick up the pieces and hope that it won't happen again, while all the while, they're surrounded by a media which trivialises the crimes being exacted against them. 
It's 2014 for goodness sake - we shouldn't still be arguing about this. 

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