Does Thor: Ragnarok Make a Joke About Slavery?
This past weekend Thor: Ragnarok dominated theaters nationwide. Not only did it make over $121 million in it’s first weekend, the movie helped Marvel Studios to accomplish a number of feats. Ragnarok became Marvel’s 27th consecutive film to debut in theaters at #1 and it’s opening take was enough to make the Marvel Comics Universe the first film franchise to ever rake in over $5 billion dollars in ticket sales.
Not only was the latest Thor film slaying the weekend movie competition, it was slaying audiences with it’s laughs. The comedy heavy film by New Zealander director Taika Waititi was full of slap stick, one-liners, and other visual comedy that millions of moviegoers laughing this past weekend. But in one of it’s jokes, did Thor: Ragnarok cross a line?
WARNING!!! AT THIS POINT ON- POTENTIAL MOVIE SPOILERS…
Thor: Ragnarok runs at just about two hours long. At about the 90 minute mark, as Thor is trying to escape the Grandmaster’s planet of Sakaar, the god of thunder releases the enslaved masses who are forced to participate in the Celestial’s gladiator games. Once freed, the scene switches over to the Grandmaster’s palace.
There, Grandmaster, played by Jurassic Park’s Jeff Goldblum, is informed by his major domo Topaz, played by Whale Rider’s Rachel House, that the ‘slaves are uprising.’ The Grandmaster then tells Topaz to ‘Not say that word.” Topaz thinks that the Grandmaster doesn’t want to hear the word uprising. But what the leader of Sakaar doesn’t want to hear is the word ‘slave.’ Instead he tells her that the term is taboo and to instead call the ‘S-word’ something else. Something less offensive. Topaz, taken aback, then says that from now on the revolting slaves of Sakaar will be called ‘prisoners… with jobs.”
That’s the punchline to the joke- slaves are ‘prisoners… with jobs.’ I’m not sure who on the production team of Ragnarok thought that this joke was in good taste. But the theater full of patrons that I saw it with didn’t think so.
I went late last night with about 100 other guests and when Topaz says her line about the prisoners, the theater collectively groaned. I know that the line made me uncomfortable. I was also a little shocked that Marvel Studios, a company known for being inclusive and very politically correct, would push the envelope on a subject as sensitive as slavery. Oddly, I’m even more surprised that this scene hasn’t gotten more scrutiny from fans on social media, based on the audience reaction I witnessed yesterday.
Let’s hear it from you…
So did Marvel go too far with one of it’s jokes? We here at Outrightgeekery.com want to hear from you on this!
Did you see Thor: Ragnarok? What did you think of this scene? Did it go to far? OR did it not go far enough? Also, what about the rest of the film? Was it as funny as you wanted it too be or should Marvel stick to making films that are more serious and less silly? Tell us in the comments section…