Joker star Zazie Beetz -- who plays the character Sophie Dumond -- has offered her thoughts on the controversy surrounding the newly-released DC film, which stems from concern from certain critics and commentators that the character study's portrayal of the violent comic book villain may be too sympathetic.
While speaking with Variety, the Deadpool 2 alum was asked, "What do you have to say to some people who say they're a little concerned that the Joker may be too sympathetic of a character, this homicidal loner?"
Beetz replied, "I think that it's really kind of an empathy toward isolation. And kind of, you know, what is our duty as a society, I suppose, to address people who slips through the cracks in a way? And you know, of course there's a lot of culture of that right now. But is it empathy for that, or is it kind of just an observation on personalities who struggle? So, I could say that, I suppose."
As criticism regarding Joker's depiction of its titular character and his motivations has circulated, those attached to the film have offered their own thoughts on the matter. In addition to Beetz's comments, the discourse has also been addressed by Joker's director, Todd Phillips, and its lead, Joaquin Phoenix.
Said Phillips, "The movie makes statements about a lack of love, childhood trauma, lack of compassion in the world. I think people can handle that message." Phoenix added, "Well, I think that, for most of us, you're able to tell the difference between right and wrong. And those that aren't are capable of interpreting anything in the way that they may want to."
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. The film is now in theaters.