Is Jim Carrey's disavowal of Kick Ass 2 a heroic stand on gun violence? Or a cynical publicity stunt?

You simply couldn’t buy the column acreage of stories that have sprouted online content industry in the past 24 hours – and nor could, say, Universal Studios

Share
Related Topics

It’s incredible really, the timing of Jim Carrey’s public disavowal of the upcoming summer blockbuster in which he is starring.

No sooner than has the latest trailer for multimillion-dollar violence extravaganza Kick Ass 2 emerged, than out trots celebrity A-lister Carrey to denounce the extravagance of the violence he has helped portray. In light of Sandy Hook, he says, he wishes he hadn’t taken a part in the film. Some coincidence, eh? Especially as basically no one noticed the trailer when it first appeared.

Here’s the thing: people might dimly have been aware that there could be some sort of Kick Ass-flavoured sequel meandering its way out of the Hollywood traps later this summer, but it was hardly on anyone’s lips. Now look at it though – literally everyone with an Internet knows what old man Carrey thinks about the violence in much-ballyhooed flick Kick Ass 2. You simply couldn’t buy the column acreage to support the number of stories that have sprouted across the online content industry in the past 24 hours – and nor could, say, Universal Studios.

All publicity is good publicity, or so they say, so is this sudden intense media traction not just that smallest bit fortuitous for the beleaguered execs at Universal and their pricey cinematic baby? Superhero movies are 10-a-penny these days, and it takes more than the interminable thwack of fist against goon to stand out from the crowd. It’s a marketing department’s nightmare, and the temptation must be there to make an opportunity out of any crisis that may come along. And if there are no crises on the immediate horizon, why not make one of your own?

It does slightly seem as though manufactured crises are thicker on the ground in the new media landscape. The best press, or at least that which is the most market-penetrating, comes from confected spats that play well on Twitter. Hardly a day goes by without something going furiously viral on the internet rage machine, whether it’s Richard Dawkin’s rather shonky grasp of contemporary memetics, something Melanie Phillips has said on Question Time, or perhaps, a skeleton tumbling abruptly from an X Factor contestant’s closet.

The number of reality TV stars with sudden shady pasts is quite astonishing, in fact. Every year, without fail, in the run-up to Christmas, with the public’s fickle eye beginning to wander, a prominent candidate will be unexpectedly unmasked as a secret prostitute or bear-baiter or something. It happens with such regularity that I do find myself wondering how diligent these TV companies’ background checks can be?

Isn’t it hard to believe, really, that operators as slick as showbiz PRs can so constantly be beset by surprise naughtiness or injudicious tweeting? They could have been caught out once or twice by a new medium in the early days, but it’s bewildering to think that Hollywood would not nowadays have a strict set of Twitter clauses written into the marketing objectives of each actor’s contract.

So when a tweet like Carrey’s appears apropos of nothing but a summer megamovie’s imminent release, I end up suspicious.

Carrey himself isn’t a pseud; he has a demonstrable and admirable track record in the fight against America’s towering hard-on for firearms. He spoke copiously of the Sandy Hook tragedy at the time, and is a tireless campaigner for good in this area. He must have consented to this as a way of bringing his own concerns back into public consciousness.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Cameron faces the press as he arrives in Brussels for the EU leaders summit on Thursday reuters  

On the Tusk of a dilemma: Cameron's latest EU renegotiation foe

Andrew Grice
John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959  

Stephen Ward’s trial was disgraceful. There can be no justification for it

Geoffrey Robertson QC
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas