Fox reportedly won’t remove T.J. Miller from Deadpool 2, after allegations surfaced that the actor sexually assaulted a woman while in college. Miller had played a character named Weasel in the first Deadpool, and he was brought back to reprise his role for the second. When asked whether the film would be replacing or editing out Miller in light of the allegations, 20th Century Fox producer Lauren Shuler Donner said to Rotten Tomatoes, “We’re in the final editing. I don’t think so.”
Rotten Tomatoes followed up to ask if Miller would have a future in any further Deadpool films, but Shuler Donner didn’t give a definitive answer and deferred to the studio. “That’s a whole studio thing,” she said. “I don’t know.”
Miller has been accused of sexually assaulting one of his college girlfriends, and other women have also come forward with allegations on social media that Miller made threats against them and harassed women at comedy shows.
Numerous movies and TV shows have removed accused assaulters from their casts both before and after production. All the Money in the World digitally edited out Kevin Spacey and replaced him with Christopher Plummer. Danny Masterson, who has been accused of rape, was written out of the Netflix series The Ranch. Ordeal by Innocence recast Ed Westwick and scheduled reshoots after he was accused of rape.
While I understand that Miller’s role might be rather minor, and therefore not considered worth the cost of re-shoots to Fox, I am disappointed. There are valid discussions to be had about how one wants to engage with movies that feature alleged abusers, or at what point it becomes impossible for you to support a film. But I think almost everyone agrees that it becomes particularly difficult to enjoy a work of art when the subject matter gets too close to real-life allegations. Woody Allen films like Manhattan become particularly troubling to watch when one remembers the allegations against him. Sexually explicit R. Kelly songs become particularly uncomfortable to dance to when one remembers the allegations against him.
And so putting T.J. Miller in a raunchy, R-rated comedy will definitely make it more difficult to watch for me. I just know I’ll be uncomfortable seeing his face in an “edgy” comedy, because every time a sexual joke comes up when he’s in the scene, it will immediately bring the allegations to mind, and my laugh will catch in my throat. For me, at least, his presence will have a significant impact on a film that I could otherwise sit back and enjoy.
(Via Daily Dot; image: HBO)
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