Joaquin Phoenix Leaves 'Joker' Interview When Asked It It Could Inspire Real Violence

Along with the Oscar buzz for Todd Phillips' Joker movie, there's been a fair share of criticism and concern about the message it sends. Joaquin Phoenix's character, Arthur Fleck, is someone who turns to violence after being tossed aside by society: laughed at as a failed comedian, losing his job, and more. It is, unfortunately, a story that may resonate with some who feel the same way, but don't you dare think of asking Phoenix about that in an interview, not if you want him to finish the interview, that is.

When asked by The Telegraph whether Joker "might perversely end up inspiring exactly the kind of people it's about, with potentially tragic results", Phoenix stormed out of the interview. According to interviewer  Robbie Collin, Phoenix asked aloud why he would be asked such a thing while leaving the room.  He was eventually convinced to return thanks to Warner Bros.' PR staff, but never did get around to answering the question.

This is in line with what John and I discussed on the show last week, and echoes the concerns of many reviewers who've seen the film already. Even those who appreciate the movie have wondered the impact it might have, especially as violence in movies has become a greater topic as of late. We're only weeks removed from the cancellation of The Hunt because of concerns about the message it might send after a series of mass shootings.

What do you think? Was Phoenix right to be so upset? Or was it a valid question to be asked?