As the commercial news induced hysteria surrounding hypothetical violence inspired by Joker continues to grip headlines, the New York City Police Department has confirmed that they will be sending both uniformed and undercover officers to opening weekend screenings of the film as a pre-cautionary measure.
According to Deadline, police will be present at theaters in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. A law enforcement official stated that this “360-degree policing approach” is to “ensure the safety for ticket buyers in their seats, as well as on the streets”:
“This is 360-degree policing approach to ensure safety for ticket buyers in their seats, as well as on the streets. If something happens inside one of the screenings, we intend to be able to pacify the situation quickly and conclusively.”
Further emphasizing the precautionary nature of this deployment, an NYPD spokesperson confirmed to Deadline that “There are no specific or credible threats at this time.”
“There are no specific or credible threats at this time and these events will continue to be closely monitored/ Any additional personnel will be deployed as needed. Members of the public are encouraged to help police in the shared responsibility of public safety. If you see something, say something by calling 911.”
The heightened paranoia surrounding the premier of Joker has been fueled by journalists who have declared the film to be a promotion of incel violence solely due to the film’s subject matter rather than any viewing of the actual film. This popular narrative has led to incidents such as Rotten Tomatoes critics giving the film negative reviews due to a perceived aggrandization of Joker’s circumstances and actions and the United States Army warning employees of potential “incel extremists.”
The moral panic surrounding the film ultimately led Warner Bros. to restrict the access to the premiere solely to photographers, stating that “A lot has been said about Joker and we just feel it’s time for people to see the film.”