We live in a changing age when it comes to how we approach sensitive topics. There are good ways, there are bad ways, and then there are the statements or jokes that walk right across that line. No one was really expecting Deadpool 2 to address the various allegations made against T.J. Miller in recent months, but there was acknowledgement there — and it wasn’t exactly a good idea.
Back in December, there were some very graphic and terrible allegations made against Miller. They ranged from sending transphobic emails to a critic to drugging a woman’s drink. Fans were quick to call on 20th Century Fox to replace Miller like Ridley Scott replaced Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer in All the Money in the World. But 20th Century Fox said they wouldn’t be replacing Miller. Then in mid-April Miller was arrested and charged for calling in a fake bomb threat, and at the beginning of this month Ryan Reynolds confirmed that Miller won’t be returning for the upcoming X-Force movie.
So now here we are with the release of the movie, and while Miller doesn’t play a huge role — he has maybe 10 minutes of total screen time — the movie doesn’t address the allegations out loud. However, there is a joke made about it on screen. At one point we see a news crew reporting on Russell having a “incident”. At the bottom of the screen there is scroll text, and in that scrolling text it says “Christopher Plummer Refuses Role in Deadpool 2.”
It’s subtle enough that most people aren’t going to notice it, which makes one wonder why they did it in the first place. They kept Miller in the movie, so why draw more attention to the fact that this was the hill they decided to die on? Miller isn’t in the series anymore, as Reynolds has said, but some of the things Miller is accused of aren’t exactly funny. In the era of #TimesUp and #MeToo, is making light of a man accused of sexual assault really the way to go? Even in a movie as over the top as Deadpool 2?
Summary(?): After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry’s hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover.
Deadpool 2, directed by David Leitch, stars Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Josh Brolin, Brianna Hildebrand, and Zazie Beetz. It will be released on May 18th.