“According to your scriptwriter, the fact (Loki) was adopted is the reason he is a bad guy!…Being adopted is not something to use for the butt of jokes! Marvel, immediately cease using adoption as the butt of jokes AND issue a public apology to the adoption community! Furthermore, you have to consider how children think. A child doesn’t know the history of Thor and Loki. Plus, a child does not understand context the same way adults do. A child who is adopted only hears those lines above. So the child thinks to themselves, “I’m adopted. The bad guy was adopted too. Does that mean I am bad too?”” – Jamie Berke
If you have yet to see The Avengers, this petition is referencing a point in the film where the team is discussing Loki and the his terrible actions. Thor objects to the manner in which they are speaking about Loki because he is his brother, saying “have a care how you speak. Loki is beyond reason, but he is of Asgard. And he is my brother.” Black Widow replies “He killed eighty people in two days,” to which Thor says “He’s adopted.” It was absolutely hilarious; the entire theater erupted in laughter. It was one of many humorous moments in the film and in no way does it state or imply that the reason Loki is evil is because he is adopted. Marvel is not using adoption as “the butt of jokes;” it’s part of Loki’s origin story, just as Clark Kent’s adoption by the Kent family is part of his. The movie line was just bringing a bit of humor into a grave situation, giving the audience something to laugh at prior to the final battle. It amazes me that a good number of people have taken offense to this line and are rallying behind Berke, demanding an apology or encouraging people to boycott the film due to this so-called offensive and inappropriate line.
The Avengers is rated PG-13 which in summary is “a sterner warning by the Rating Board to parents to determine whether their children under age 13 should view the motion picture, as some material might not be suited for them. A PG-13 motion picture may go beyond the PG rating in theme, violence, nudity, sensuality, language, adult activities or other elements.” Berke states that Marvel needed to consider what children will think of such a line, but this movie was rated PG-13, putting the responsibility on the parents of young children of whether or not the film is appropriate. If your child is too sensitive or is not yet educated enough to comprehend the humor, the parent has the responsibility of keeping their child away from the film, screening it first to determine whether or not it is appropriate, waiting until DVD to show their child the film and skipping certain parts, and explaining elements of the film that the child may not understand. This was not a G rated film that joked about things like using weed to manage anger issues, this was a PG-13 film that got to poke fun at certain things and is protected by that rating. If your child was offended or hurt by this movie, perhaps you shouldn’t have taken them to see it without understanding what PG-13 means and understanding some content is meant solely for adults.
Being adopted or giving a child up for adoption is not a stigma and The Avengers was not implying it was so. Thor was defending his brother, something he has done and will continue to do because, regardless of who Loki was born to, he is his brother for better or worse. Unfortunately, these critics failed to pick up on that fact, focusing instead on a single funny line. If being adopted was being used as “the butt of jokes,” why would Thor show so much loyalty towards his adopted brother? Surely if the adoption was a joke, writers would have had Thor shun his brother due to the fact that they aren’t technically related, or throw in lines such as “I’m glad he’s adopted; I would not want any of his lunatic DNA,” or “he’s not my REAL brother, he’s adopted!” The line was not insulting, not cruel, and in no way used the loving act of adopting a child as a joke.
Another important thing to look at here is that Loki isn’t evil because he’s adopted. He is evil and he just happens to be adopted. Adoption in no way causes evil behavior (again, think Clark Kent) and Marvel and the writers on this film did not insinuate that it does so. The story did not revolve around the fact that Loki is adopted and therefore harbors resentment that caused his terrible behavior. The film does not make adoption a central issue and connect it to his devious acts. The line simply used Loki’s origin story and created a version of the offhand comments people sometimes make about family and friends when the family member/friend does something to embarrass them. Guy A and Guy B are at a bar, Guy B falls off his stool in a drunken stupor, Guy A jokes to the bartender that he’s never met him before in his life, and laughs are shared. The end.
Are we such a soft and oversensitive society that we must take offense to everything we can possibly take offense to? Movies are an art form and art isn’t going to be appreciated by everyone, nor is it meant for everyone. The people getting up in arms about the adoption comment no doubt think they are doing a service to the adopted community and to their children, but they are wrong. Their actions are saying that whining and being easily offended is a good thing. If something makes you sad, you shouldn’t have a thick skin about it and you shouldn’t find humor in it, you should get ANGRY and UPSET and LASH OUT. Being angry is better than learning to laugh at yourself. It is better to go through life as a bitter person than it is to be open and accepting. This message is put out there and it creates a new breed of people who are weak, timid, fragile, and incredibly easy to influence.
Even if The Avengers came out and said that adoption sucks and adopted kids are evil little brats, which it didn’t, it’s no reason for people to react so viciously and to call for apologies and boycotts. Life isn’t a joyride; it has speed bumps and traffic jams that rarely will come with an apology. People will offend you, will intentionally piss you off, will be rude pigs, and will make you borderline insane at times. That’s life. I used to be extremely offended by racial slurs, so much so that I got into altercations in school and spent days and weeks stewing in anger over the ignorant things people would say and do. Their racism is their problem and I chose to make it mine, resulting in stress and discomfort that was totally unnecessary. This anger over the adoption comment is something these people chose to make into their problem. It’s not worth the stress, the anger, or the time that is being put into petitions and boycotts and apology demands. It’s nothing to cry about and certainly nothing warranting an apology from Marvel, the writers, the studio, or any other entity that had a part in making the movie.
To the people who are spending their days on these petitions and apology requests, I have a few activities to suggest to you that are far more productive and actually serve a purpose. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or other organization that provides assistant to the poor, homeless, and needy. Organize a clean-up project in your neighborhood and work to remove trash, plant trees and shrubbery, and provide a safe place for children and pets to play. Spend time talking to your kids and help them to learn and grow up to be the best possible person they can. Visit a friend or family member that you haven’t seen lately and who would appreciate the company. Hell, baking a cake would do more for your family than a waste of a petition regarding a single line in a movie about superheroes. Get your damn priorities in order and quit whining about trivial nonsense that does not matter whatsoever.