Does Thor: Ragnarok Make a Joke About Slavery?

Tony Dillard

Culinary Jedi, Pop Culture Time Lord, Comic Book Curator, Book Reviewing Madman, Passionate for Pittsburgh...

22 Responses

  1. gilgamesh says:

    I loved this joke. The one moment of truth in this otherwise ludicrous violence-promoting emotionally-dissociated film. It’s an emperor’s-clothes kinda moment. The audience is supposed to be uncomfortable. You’re watching this movie in a country that has 100% legal and strictly enforced slavery. Or, as we call it now . . . prisoners with jobs.

    • Anonymous says:

      Correct. This is a message about the modern slave industry known as the privatized prison system. Message!!!!!!

    • Chow Mein says:

      Seriously?

      Sheesh – I thought it was funny – it showed how awful the grandmaster was. That was the point. In fact it was the point of the whole performance – he’s this crazy clueless terrible ruler.

  2. Michael says:

    I loved the joke too! And I come from a country which was also built by slaves! And this didn’t bother us at all! We are all technically still slaves…of our jobs, of society’s pressure, of technology…etc… And that’s something we joke about a lot (congratulations, you’ve worked 70 hours this week, you can aspired to become a chartered slave!). Trying to understand why “professionals…with jobs” made you uneasy in a movie where the Goddess of Death was slaughtering people like Chuck Norris in his movies…

  3. Marcus says:

    Bad Guy is bad. Film at 11.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The joke isn’t about slavery, the joke is about the detachment from The Grandmaster and what he is really doing. By calling them “prisoners with jobs”, and asking his henchmen to do so as well, he doesn’t have to acknowledge what a monster he is. In his mind he is an entertainer, but in reality he is a despot.

  5. Anonymous says:

    it actually served to make a rather on-the-nose political comment about how modern day slavery is perpetuated through the prison system, so good on them.

  6. Randy Mang says:

    it actually served to make a rather on-the-nose political comment about how modern day slavery is perpetuated through the prison system, so good on them.

  7. ompus says:

    ” By calling them “prisoners with jobs”, and asking his henchmen to do so as well, he doesn’t have to acknowledge what a monster he is. In his mind he is an entertainer, but in reality he is a despot.”

    This is true, but the ‘joke’ is indeed about slavery and the fact that the U.S. pays corporations to run prisons that house prisoners convicted of petty crimes and who use those prisoners as, for all intents and purposes, slave labor. But the U.S. doesn’t want to acknowledge this monstrous, archaic practice, so we call it … ‘prisoners with jobs.’

    The ‘joke’ is that the USA and the despotic grandmaster are ON THE SAME PAGE.

  8. Daniel Schealler says:

    It was the best moment in the movie.

    It was a joke about slavery, yes. But it wasn’t a joke at the expense of slaves.

    It was a joke at the expense of the powerful people and systems that depend on slavery to function. Those people have a vested interest in denial that what they are doing is slavery, so they change the language. The joke in the movie just drew attention to that fact in a way that made it obvious and accessible.

    It doesn’t surprise me though that a lot of people didn’t get the joke. That, unfortunately, is kind of the point of what makes the joke relevant.

  9. Lynn says:

    The most memorable joke in the movie – it’s called satire. Much needed challenge to our complacency about the plight of African Americans in particular, and the socially and economically oppressed globally.

  10. Matt says:

    The joke can be seen as a play on our current capitalist society, noting that prisoners with jobs is the same as slavery. As money is our only way to access resources in order to survive, a slave is given resources needed for their survival instead of money. People may have felt uncomfortable because they can relate to this, as most people are essentially slaves, we just do not refer to them as such.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The fact you took it straight to meaning Black people makes you a racist. There were white slaves, how’s were slaves twice, and yes modern prisoners are treated like slaves

  12. Sss says:

    I took it as a jab at forced prison labor, which apparently a bunch of people missed somehow.

  13. Please stop with the SJW nonsense, our country is becoming too easily offended, and it sickens me, I agree with the above comments it’s an eye opening pot shot at modern society

  14. Anonymous says:

    1 It’s not a joke at the expense of slaves it’s a joke about they’re snd our society
    2 black people were not the only slaves every slavery does not just apply to them it applied to many people in history that’s just the most recent example stop calling it racist Slavery doesn’t have to be racist Its a terrible thing regardless
    3 the joke is more aimed at forcing prisoners to work and criticizing that it’s satire get over it
    4 chill out about jokes

  15. Radar says:

    It’s surprising how badly this article missed the mark. The commenters got it. It’s a commentary, and well done too.

  16. Radar says:

    Watch this doc and you’ll get it
    13th
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5895028/

  17. Phil says:

    I’m honestly confused about how you could see it as politically incorrect?

    He’s the BAD GUY, feeding people a line of bull about redefining his BAD-GUY-ACTIONS into something more politically correct. You know, the sort of thing that the bad guy does. It’s still bad even if you give it a nice name. That’s pretty progressive.

  18. Lordmorpheus says:

    Hollywood is very tongue and cheek (surprised I missed it the first time.) I could see how some get offended. In our current 2018 market environment, the Debt to Income ratio is steadily increasing (indentured service at its finest) with a few people buying things they don’t need with money they don’t have. Fight Club, The Matrix, My Dinner with Andre- a Conversation about reality, George Carlin on “The American Dream.” The list goes on and on and on. I’m African-American (my dad came on a plan in the 60’s mom was born here.) I thought it was simple hilarious – then again if you can find truth in the Prisoners with Jobs… you are that closer to freedom. But then again, I am a Bruh who listens to Dr. Wayne Dyer, Viktor Frankl, just finished the the Audio book on 4 hour work week and the War of Art. I quit my safe secure government job like Robert Kioysaki told me to (LOL) and have not worked a day since 2010… Relative income is much better than absolute income (my 400k doctor buddies in Miami are also prisoners with jobs) You can control my liberty, but you cannot control my freedom- my power to choose my response in every given situation.

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