Tuesday, May 29, 2012
One Line "The Avengers" Got Wrong
Okay, so let me start by saying that I'm not the first to pick this bone. The buzz has already started. Apparently others have written about this. Even MSNBC has shared some unfavorable sentiments about it.
But it makes a lot of sense. Usually when you're fighting mad about something, someone else is too. And it feels good to know I'm not alone.
But this past Friday night when I sat in a dark, crowded movie theater watching the hit Disney movie "The Avengers" with my husband, I felt all alone during one particular line.
Here's the backdrop: Thor, a demigod and member of the Avengers, has an evil brother Loki, also the villain of the film. While discussing Loki's wickedness, Thor begins to defend his brother. His spiel sounds a lot like, Well he's not all that bad.
Then fellow Avenger Black Widow makes the huge observation, "He killed 80 people in 2 days."
Thor replies with, "He's adopted."
Now, let me begin with an honest admission. When Thor flippantly delivered the adoption line, I laughed along with everyone else in the theater.
But by the time the next line was spoken, my mind had left the movie theater. My mind and heart had transported back home to my son and daughter who happen to have been adopted. My heart hurt for them. Especially my son, because I know he's been dying to see the movie.
And how do you explain to an 11-year-old boy that you don't want him to see the movie, not because of too much profanity or illicit sexual content, but because of a line that you know will hurt him to the core.
A line that sheds negative light on adopted children.
A line that will communicate to him that the adopted child is always the bad seed.
A line that perpetuates the stereotype that adoption is something weird, freakish and unnatural.
Disney missed the mark in a big way on this one. "The Avengers" does not present adoption as another beautiful way that God forms families.
Come on, folks. It's 2012. When are we going to get this thing right? I recently blogged on Five Things Not to Say to Adoptive Parents, and I have received a huge response. Apparently, none of us wants to be the idiot that says the offensive thing to the adoptive families we know. But the reality is, haven't we all been that idiot at some point? I know I have.
But, the important thing is we should learn from our mistakes, and try to do better next time.
When is Hollywood going to learn from its mistakes? How many anti-adoption lines -- or even storylines -- do we have to endure before these folks get it right?
And what do I, a loving adoptive mother, do in the meantime? Do I not allow my children to see these movies? Do I take them, but distract them when the demeaning lines are spoken?
I can imagine the scenario going like this: Black Widow mentions the 80 murders in 2 days, then I whisper into my son's ear right before Thor's adoption line, "Hey Christian, this is some good popcorn, isn't it?"
Ahhh, I've distracted him long enough to miss Thor's line. But he's no stupid kid. I imagine him frowning over the laughter all around him, and then saying, "Awww, Mom. You made me miss one of the good jokes. I wonder what I missed?"
And I'd think to myself, Sweetheart, you didn't miss anything you need to hear. You missed a joke that poked fun at the very institution that brought you to our family. You only missed two words of the film, but they were words that could have caused you pain that would have taken a long time to repair.
Those two words are words I don't ever want my children to hear. As a matter of fact, they were words that the rest of us don't need to hear either.
Unlike the Avengers, I can't save the world from all the evils that lurk out there. I can't rid the world of every mean word spoken about adoption. And unfortunately, I can't use Captain America's shield to protect my children from every insensitive comment, joke and perception about adoption firing around out there.
But I can speak my mind about it to you, my friends.
And so I have.
If you've seen The Avengers, how did that line make you feel? Did it slip past you or were you offended? Share your thoughts here and join the conversation!