In a March 4th article published by Jeff Sneider of The Wrap, he talks about the new Sacha Baron Cohen movie, The Brothers Grimbsy, and how a particular joke within the movie was considered poor taste. He described attending a screening of the movie last Thursday and listening to people laugh at the scene in which a fictional Donald Trump contracts AIDS.
Now, full disclosure, the chances of me seeing this movie are pretty slim with or without a joke about AIDS. Even the joke that Jeff Sneider admits to laughing at, which apparently features a scene in an elephant’s vagina, makes me cringe and actually sounds really gross. So I may not be the greatest person to ask about Sacha Baron Cohen’s movies but while maybe a scene set inside an animal’s vagina may just cause to me to roll my eyes and groan, I am not sure I will be able to understand the funny when it comes to giving a fictional version of someone a deadly disease for the sake of comedy.
After Snieder published his article, which you can read its entirety by clicking here: http://www.thewrap.com/hey-brothers-grimsby-no-one-deserves-aids-even-donald-trump/, the comments were swift and a little harsh. People sitting behind their computer screens deciding that someone with an opinion was wrong and telling him and attacking him, calling him a Trump supporter when he was trying to say that AIDS is not really a laughing matter. The article had very little to do with Trump and more about saying that maybe making a joke about a deadly disease might not be all that funny. So after reading the article and reading the comments, I got to thinking: how far is too far?
In addition to the Sacha Baron Cohen movie, we have Bill Maher comparing Donald Trump to Hitler. There’s also a link on Facebook where you can click on it and see which one of your friends support Trump. Trump is egomaniacal, his comments show that. There’s some sort of narcissistic personality disorder thing going on but I am not qualified to diagnose him. I do think we can draw comparisons between Frank Underwood from House of Cards and Trump. I do feel that his ideas have crossed over to racist, bigoted and downright hateful. I might be showing myself as a complete hypocrite because I have laughed at the pictures of Trump painted as a clown or the images of him as one of The Three Stooges. I have watched the John Oliver Dump Drumpf video many times and laughed hysterically. I have posted how terrifying it is that he’s gotten this far. I really don’t understand how anyone can support him at this point. I have definitely clicked that link and wondered why?
All that being said, after reading Jeff’s article and seeing all the Hitler=Trump comments, I wonder if we have we gotten too out of control. Comparing Trump to a monster who slaughtered six million Jews? My grandfather was a Holocaust survivor. If he were alive today, I’m not sure he’d feel too comfortable comparing Trump to the monster who was responsible for so much death and destruction. There is a huge difference between someone being a racist and saying ridiculous things and someone who committed a mass genocide. There’s also a comparison of Trump to Mussolini which also seems extreme. Is it fair to compare Trump to someone who was shown to be evil? Is it like comparing an armed bank robber to Charles Manson?
Likewise, having a scene in a comedic feature where a fictional Trump contracts AIDS? According to the World Health Organization website, approximately 36.9 million people are currently living with HIV and/or AIDS. 2.6 million of them are children. If that’s supposed to be funny then I’m wondering if someone can explain to me where the funny is because I don’t see it? Having a website that calls out your friends who might support him also seems like it’s crossing a line where you can publicly bully your friends.
So I leave with unanswered questions wondering how far is too far when mocking or humiliating someone who has indeed left himself open to being mocked? Does he deserve to be compared to a mass murderer? Does his egomaniacal behavior and ridiculously over the top racist and bigoted rants warrant having a fictional version of himself contract a disease that’s still killing millions of people? Where is the line? Is there one? Have we crossed it or has Donald Trump’s own words and behavior basically eliminated any line?