One of the most pivotal scenes in Joker has the aspiring Clown Prince of Crime, Arthur Fleck, dance on a wet set of stairs in Gotham City before embracing his villainous destiny.
The actual filming location for the sequence, in the Highbridge neighborhood of the New York City borough the Bronx, has quickly gone on to become a major tourist attraction since the film's release earlier this month. However, as fans flock to the stairs for their own photo ops, local residents have become concerned by the constant influx of visitors who have no apparent regard for their surroundings and those that use the stairs regularly.
"We hope it ends soon because we don't need this," admitted lifelong resident Jonathan Francis in an interview with Gothamist. "We feel disrespected."
While city officials hope the increase in visitors will result in the local businesses seeing more patrons and potentially more attention to infrastructure concerns in the neighborhood, locals claim that most tourists immediately depart after obtaining their desired selfies and posed shots on the stairs.
"Understand that it is not just selfies and hashtags," resident Brayan Feliz explained. "Understand that people live in those places and that you just taking a picture is gonna have an impact in that community."
Directed by Todd Phillips, Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge, Marc Maron, Josh Pais and Shea Whigham.