One of the most pivotal scenes in Joker has the aspiring Clown Prince of Crime, Arthur Fleck, dance on a wet set of stairs in Gotham City before embracing his villainous destiny.
The twisted journey of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) has been shrouded in
controversy even before it hit theaters, but it looks like one key scene from the film is causing ire in a very specific way. According to a new report by Gothamist, the popularity of Joker has caused ire for residents of the Highbridge neighborhood in the Bronx, where the iconic scene of Arthur dancing as the Joker was originally filmed. The “Joker Stairs” have reportedly led to an influx of tourists in the weeks since the film debuted, with many flocking to take a picture or video of themselves evoking Arthur’s unique mannerisms.
Reportedly, some residents have grown increasingly frustrated with the stairs’ new popularity, as it has prevented them from using the pathway to get to work or school. Some have reportedly stopped using the structure altogether, for fear of popping up in the background of the ever-growing “#JokerStairs” trend on social media.
“We hope it ends soon because we don’t need this,” admitted lifelong resident Jonathan Francis in an interview with Gothamist. “We feel disrespected.”
While city officials hope the increase in visitors will result in the local businesses seeing more patrons and potentially more attention to infrastructure concerns in the neighborhood, locals claim that most tourists immediately depart after obtaining their desired selfies and posed shots on the stairs.
“Understand that it is not just selfies and hashtags,” resident Brayan Feliz explained. “Understand that people live in those places and that you just taking a picture is gonna have an impact in that community.”
Directed by Todd Phillips, Joker stars Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge, Marc Maron, Josh Pais and Shea Whigham.