This week, the mainstream press appears to have caught-up more (some reported on it last month) with the fact that Jim Carrey has denounced the upcoming film version of Kick-Ass 2, in which he plays the character Colonel Stars. For the record: the Pauls and I discussed this back in episode 45 of Nerds Assemble (more than a month ago).

The film hits UK cinemas next week, so the mainstream press are partially leading with the notion that it’s some kind of publicity stunt. Thing is – it’s unlikely to be. Sure, Mark Millar is happy about all the free publicity the whole thing is generating for the film, but the film would probably have gotten plenty of attention in the UK from the likes of the Daily Mail. The Daily Mail crusaded against the first film, mainly due to its depictions of violence with young characters – basically Hit-Girl.

Carrey has said that he’s distancing himself from the film due to the tragedy that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary before Christmas last year. The shooting happened after filming had not long wrapped-up.

Why not denounce it sooner?

I’m not saying Carrey hasn’t got a point, but it feels a little like taking the money and running – assuming he was paid anything upfront for the role. After all, the Columbine shootings happened many years before and included individuals that far more closely fitted the demographics of the young adult characters depicted in the Kick-Ass films and comics – more so than those who were affected by the tragedy at Sandy Hook.

Why not say “no” to the role from the beginning? Especially as he’s already quite hot on gun control? And those comics were created well after the Columbine shootings. What about the Virginia Tech shootings? Carrey must have been aware of these, would have known the film was violent, etc – so why the epiphany last month, almost two months before the film’s release?

Another issue that could come from this is the likes of the DM using it as another quiver in their bow when they probably, inevitably, start screaming about the film next week. I’m not someone who believes that on-screen violence begets off-screen violence. The world was already a pretty violent place before Hollywood showed-up, so a lot of media effects theory doesn’t hold sway with me that and I studied the Bobo Doll Experiment at college.

Carrey doesn’t owe anyone an explanation to any of this, but I am genuinely worried that certain groups will use it as a means to demonise the film during its release.