As far as gun violence and terrorism go, this past year may have been one of the most harrowing and devastating in recent memory. Not that Hollywood cares. While fretting that Fifty Shades of Grey won't get enough play at the box office if it isn't R-rated (aka devoid of graphic sex), they're content to keep churning out flicks filled with violence or that are being promoted with violent imagery. Though, we don't have just Hollywood to blame. Consider the ridiculously moronic move on the part of a Missouri movie theater, the Goodrich Capital 8 Theater in Jefferson City, this past Friday.
In an attempt to promote Iron Man 3, they had an actor dressed in black, wearing body armor, and carrying a fake rifle walk into the theater. Yep. Not even one year after The Dark Knight shooting, the theater's management was somehow okay with that!
There were other actors around who were dressed as officers and another as Iron Man. But because it wasn't made clear to patrons that this was a promotional stunt, no wonder some moviegoers freaked out and called 911!
I mean, what would anyone who had watched the news in the past year think if they saw a guy in assault gear and carrying a rifle walk into a movie theater? How could they not be reminded of the tragedy in Colorado last July, which killed 12 and injured dozens others? James Holmes was said to have worn police-style body armor when he entered The Dark Knight theater. How were moviegoers in Missouri to know this wasn't some kind of copycat nightmare about to unfold?
They couldn't possibly have known, because the movie theater did not think at all about appropriately preparing moviegoers for this stunt. Not to mention that it was a completely insensitive, disrespectful idea in the first place! Sure, it's been almost a year since The Dark Knight shooting, and it may not be the most current horror story in the news right now, but the tragedy should still sting.
Thankfully, the movie theater has apologized. On their Facebook page, management posted:
We apologize and are sympathetic to those who felt they were in harm's way with our character promotion for Iron Man 3. We didn't clearly tell our customers and some people didn't realize it was for entertainment purposes only.
Let's hope this royal screw-up is a lesson learned -- for this Missouri theater and any other company that doesn't think about the possible repercussions of downright brainless promos.
How insane is this? Are you shocked that someone thought this would be a good idea?