Guns Akimbo Controversy: It Surrounding The Daniel Radcliffe Film
Action comedy Guns Akimbo, written and directed by Jason Lei Howden, was released in 2019. In addition to Samara Weaving and Daniel Radcliffe, the cast also includes Ned Dennehy, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Grant Bowler, Edwin Wright, Rhys Darby, and Milo Cawthorne, and Mark Rowley.
So far, the film has had its global premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and is scheduled for distribution in New Zealand on 5 March 2020. Within less than three weeks of its theatrical premiere, this film became available on-demand digitally because of the COVID-19 epidemic.
Guns Akimbo Controversy
Backlash ensued after Jason Howden tweeted about two black film critics before his new film, Guns Akimbo, was released in April.
During an interview for his new picture, Guns Akimbo, director Jason Lei Howden got himself into trouble by blaming Dilara Elbir’s attempt on her own life on two black film critics.
After a leak of Elbir’s private conversations revealed her to be using a racial epithet, the actress was thrust into the limelight. A majority of the writers who contributed to Much Ado About Cinema publicly resigned from their posts after the DMs were made public, forcing Elbir to publish a series of videos on Twitter in which she expressed her desire to harm herself. Elbir received praise from the likes of Moonlight filmmaker Barry Jenkins when the clips went viral. In the end, people who knew Elbir well enough were able to reach out to the police to verify her whereabouts and learn that she was safe and sound in the hospital.
This is when Howden comes into play. Film critics Valerie Complex and DarkSkyLady were accused of abusing Elbir on Twitter by the film’s director. When he first started, he focused on “woke cyberbullies,” a group of authors who had recently quit Much Ado About Cinema. For his part, Howden went on the offensive against the people who had tormented Elbir into attempted suicide, even going so far as to reveal their Twitter names. Howden later declared that he had “removed the post but still believes those ‘authors’ are disgusting individuals,” before deleting the tweet disclosing the writers’ Twitter accounts.
What according to Howden say about the film?
It was Elbir who used the racial term in jest, according to Howden, who said the messages had been shared with malicious purpose. Valerie Complex took to Twitter to call out Howden for using the slur, even in jest. Howden responded by accusing Valerie of hypocrisy and requesting that she share her own private texts.
In an article titled “Guns Akimbo Was a Movie of Interest… Until,” DarkSkyLady, the other critic attacked by Howden, wrote about the director’s defense of the usage of the slur word. After DarkSkyLady’s work was called a “troll article” by the filmmaker, he appears to have utilized the official Guns Akimbo Twitter account to respond. He then went on to tweet about Valerie Complex and DarkSkyLady on his personal Twitter account. “Dilara Elbir from Much Ado About Cinema was tormented by these “film writers” to the point where she attempted suicide. Make note of their names, if possible “Howden said this.
Before he deactivated his Twitter account, Howden issued an apology for his outbursts, which sparked a wave of reaction and prompted the filmmaker to apologize. “Hey everyone,” he wrote. “To lay the record straight, my posts were simply intended to address the issue of bullying. In short, I oppose Dilara’s DM plan. Racism has no place in society, under any circumstances. The work of @DarkSkyLady and @ValerieComplex is respected by me, but bullying is not. In the wake of years of bullying, my mother took her own life, something I was unaware of until it was too late. It’s heartbreaking to witness others doing the same. #GunsAkimbo was supposed to shine a light on cyberbullying. Ironic. I sincerely apologize to anyone I may have offended; that was not my intention.”
Guns Akimbo is slated to open on Friday, and it’s logical to assume that the distributor didn’t want this kind of press before the opening. One of the most prominent critics, Robert Daniels, wrote a review of the picture for RogerEbert.com that was pulled with the backing of long-time editor Brian Tallerico.
Howden is a relatively new director, with his most recent picture, Deathgasm, a critically acclaimed horror-comedy. Since this is the filmmaker’s first production with an A-list star, expectations for this action-comedy about “online bullying” were high. This is a shame because whatever message it has about the subject matter will be tarnished by the Twitter attack from the film’s director.
Who is the director of the film?
Guns Akimbo, directed by Jason Lei Howden and starring Daniel Radcliffe, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Mark Rowley, and Colin Moy, was written and directed by Howden. Samara Weaving and Ned Dennehy.
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