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'Joker: Folie à Deux' trailer gets suicide warning on YouTube

The trailer for the blockbuster sequel, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga, now has a message that reads: “The following content may contain suicide or self-harm topics.”
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/ Source: Variety

YouTube is advising viewer discretion with the newly dropped trailer for Warner Bros.’ “Joker: Folie à Deux” — warning users that it “may contain suicide or self-harm topics.”

As of Wednesday morning, a new message appeared before the trailer is playable on YouTube: “The following content may contain suicide or self-harm topics. Viewer discretion is advised.”

Before they can watch the “Joker 2” trailer, users must click on a button that says, “I understand and wish to proceed.” The warning label did not initially appear on the trailer when it was released Tuesday evening.

Variety has reached out to YouTube and Warner Bros. for comment.

The scene that may have triggered the content warning: Harley Quinn (played by Lady Gaga) makes a finger-gun gesture then holds it to her temple before pulling the “trigger.”

“I’m nobody. I haven’t done anything with my life like you have,” Harley Quinn tells Joker as she mimes shooting herself in the head.

Under YouTube’s Community Guidelines policy covering suicide and self-harm content, the video platform says, it may add “a warning on your video before it starts playing, indicating that it contains content relating to suicide and self-harm” in addition to a panel under the video with “supportive resources such as phone numbers of suicide prevention organizations.”

The 2 minute and 24 second teaser trailer shows Joaquin Phoenix reprising his Oscar-winning role as Arthur Fleck (who later becomes the Joker) first meeting Lady Gaga’s Harley Quinn when they’re both inmates at Gotham’s notorious Arkham Asylum. The pair fall madly in love before hatching a plan to break out of the joint.

“Joker: Folie à Deux” director Todd Phillips debuted the film’s footage Tuesday at CinemaCon, the annual convention for movie theater owners. Warner Bros. will release “Joker 2” in theaters on Oct. 4, 2024, exactly five years after the original “Joker.”

Variety last month reported that “Joker 2” is a sort of jukebox musical, with at least 15 reinterpretations of well-known songs. (The trailer features a version of “What the World Needs Now Is Love.”) At CinemaCon, Phillips said that categorization isn’t entirely accurate although the movie will feature plenty of song and dance numbers.

“I like to say it’s a movie where music is an essential element,” the director said. “It doesn’t veer too far from the first film. Arthur has music in him. He has a grace to him.”

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call or text 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or chat live at 988lifeline.org. You can also visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional support.