Thor: Love And Thunder Generates Backlash To The Backlash
- A plotline from Thor: Love and Thunder in which a main character undergoes chemotherapy for cancer has some calling for a trigger warning before showings, but not everyone agrees.
- Some Marvel fans, including some who have dealt with cancer, have taken to social media to criticize those who are calling for the trigger warnings, calling them over-sensitive.
- Proper representation of illness in TV and movies can play an important role in not just educating viewers, but also in providing role models for those going through difficult times.
In the hit movie Thor: Love and Thunder, a storyline that was lifted directly from the comics is featured prominently. In it, Thor’s love interest Jane Foster, played in the movie by Natalie Portman, is diagnosed with breast cancer. To make matters worse, her ability to transform into her superhero form – known as the Mighty Thor – set back her treatment; each time she used the magical hammer Mjolnir to become her alter ego, the chemicals used her in her chemotherapy would leave her body. When she returned to her normal form, she would be back to the beginning in terms of her prognosis and treatment.Read More
For some fans, seeing graphic depictions of living with cancer should have come with a trigger warning. For those who have had brushes with the disease, or who have seen loved ones go through such a difficult ordeal, seeing it on the big screen in a movie marketed as a fun romp can be particularly upsetting.
No spoilers, but Thor: Love and Thunder SHOULD have had a trigger warning for graphic depiction of cancer and the fact that we didn’t know going in is atrocious
— Xavier (@xavmoir) July 6, 2022
Some people have begun speaking out on social media and demanding a trigger warning before the movie, especially pertaining to a scene in which Foster undergoes chemotherapy. But for other Marvel Cinematic Universe fans, that’s a step too far.
“Trigger Warnings? Seriously? Are people that weak minded that you can’t deal with a dramatic scene. It’s not like this is the first movie to do this. How stupid,” wrote one enraged fan.
Trigger Warnings? Seriously?
Are people that weak minded that you can’t deal with a dramatic scene. It’s not like this is the first movie to do this. How stupid. https://t.co/R0JmNeHKAB
— Chuck Anderson (@LoveHonorFamily) July 12, 2022
Sorry, kids. A movie studio is under no obligation to give you a trigger warning that spoils the film for everyone JUST IN CASE. You have the internet. Read the spoilers if you’re that worried about it. #Thor
— David C. Roberson (@davidcroberson) July 12, 2022
Even some people who have had close brushes with cancer thought trigger warnings weren’t necessary.
As a cancer survivor, I find this extremely stupid. https://t.co/KBoP2q6Af6
— DisturbinThaPeace 🦄 (@marvelousmeshel) July 12, 2022
Why Cancer In Entertainment Is Important
Cancer in film and TV, while most often sad to watch, is an important way to educate about the disease. And nothing raises awareness more than a blockbuster film that has already earned more than $300 million around the world.
In the TV show The Big C starring Laura Linney, her character handles relatable issues that many cancer patients struggle with, such as how to tell your child you have cancer.
“At the end of the day I could wash [the makeup] off, which a lot of people can’t,” Linney acknowledged of playing a cancer patient. “The reality is I’m a very healthy person who has the privilege of being an actress who can hopefully tell a story that other people can relate to.”
Linney, who won a Golden Globe for her role, shared a touching story with The Hollywood Reporter back in 2013 about learning just how powerful the show’s value was while having an emotional exchange with a cab driver.
‘The Big C’ on SNTV Laughter as Medicine & Tough Subjects for Cancer Survivors– Including Relationships & What to Tell Family
“I was in London, and I had gotten into a cab, and the driver burst into tears,” she recalled. “I was so confused because I didn’t realize that the show was that popular there to begin with, and he was so very grateful for the show. His wife has cancer, and they watch the show together, and he was very sweet and grateful that the show allowed them a way to talk to each other. That was really nice. You don’t realize when you make a TV show that that’s what you hope for.”
To be able to understand what a person with cancer is going through is monumental, and beautifully complex characters like Linney’s does more for this community than she even knows. Watching the show, drinking in the character, and seeing what she struggles with during her daily life shows another perspective and helps a partner or family member without cancer have more empathy for their loved ones going through it, especially when it’s well done.