Has Donald Trump Seen ‘Joker’?

Joker is everywhere. From ruling the box office to vying for Oscars, Todd Phillips’ film is proving to be one of the most culturally relevant films of 2019. We’ll see how that impact plays out in the years to come.

For now, however, fans of the film might be wondering how the world’s most powerful man feels about the most popular movie now in theaters. Of course, Donald Trump’s TV habits are well-documented. But has he gotten a chance to see Joker? And, if so, what did he make of the controversial film?

President Donald Trump delivers at the White House
President Donald Trump delivers at the White House | Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s connection to the silver screen… and the Joker

Trump himself is no stranger to the movies. A famous businessman for decades, he has appeared in countless film and television projects over the years. Most notably, Trump plays himself in 1992’s hit Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

Yet, Trump also has a more direct connection to the Batman mythos Joker plays into. Scenes for 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises were shot at Trump Tower in Manhattan, with the building standing in for Wayne Enterprises. And, of course, actor Mark Hamill has poked fun at Trump online.

Hamill has famously voiced the Joker in various TV, film, and video game projects over the years. The actor has gone viral in recent years with occasional audio clips in which he reads Trump’s tweets using his Joker voice. That being said, did Hamill’s mockery dissuade Trump from seeing the new Joker film?

What does Trump think of ‘Joker’?

According to reports, Trump has, in fact, seen the blockbuster film. CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz first reported that Trump recently held a screening of Joker at the White House. A senior White House official confirmed this, saying the screening was attended by “family, friends, and some staff.”

While we don’t know the full extent of who was present to watch Joker, we have received word that Trump reportedly enjoyed the film. Considering the controversy surrounding Joker, it’s a shame we don’t have further details surrounding Trump’s reaction to the film’s narrative.

Many critics cautioned how the movie’s bleak, unforgiving tone might inspire real-life violence. Meanwhile, it touched on such serious and relevant subjects as gun violence, mental health, and class stratification. Some have even accused the film of taking a troublingly sympathetic look at the “incel” community.

Controversial cinema and the White House

We might now know what aspects of Joker Trump responded to, but he has spoken out about controversial films in the past. Most notably, Trump condemned a 2019 thriller named The Hunt. That film — which centers on a group of strangers being hunted by the rich elite — was ultimately canceled and never released.

The Hunt was also accused of stoking the political division stemming from the 2016 presidential election. We’ll let readers come to their own conclusions regarding the reasoning behind Trump’s inflammatory comments on “liberal Hollywood.” Yet, just one day after his tweets, The Hunt was shelved indefinitely.

Joker similarly courted some of the same criticisms. So, hopefully, as the film continues to dominate the cinematic conversation, we’ll get a better idea of what Trump thinks of the film as well as Joaquin Phoenix’s critically acclaimed performance.