There was a shimmer of hope in the mainstream media today as Maurice Sendak, creator of Where the Wild Things Are, told parents that they could go to hell if they thought the movie is too scary for kids. It’s refreshing to see an artist stand up for their work and tell people who are offended by it to literally “Go to hell;” especially in an age where most films are altered in order to make a minority of people comfortable with it.
Let’s take a look at the interview with the people who worked on the movie:
The interview is taken From The Mommy Files at Sfgate
Reporter: “What do you say to parents who think the Wild Things film may be too scary?”
Sendak: “I would tell them to go to hell. That’s a question I will not tolerate.”
Reporter: “Because kids can handle it?”
Sendak: “If they can’t handle it, go home. Or wet your pants. Do whatever you like. But it’s not a question that can be
Jonze: “Dave, you want to field that one?”
Eggers: “The part about kids wetting their pants? Should kids wear diapers when they go to the movies? I think adults should wear diapers going to it, too. I think everyone should be prepared for any eventuality.”
Sendak: “I think you’re right. This concentration on kids being scared, as though we as adults can’t be scared. Of course we’re scared. I’m scared of watching a TV show about vampires. I can’t fall asleep. It never stops. We’re grown-ups; we know better, but we’re afraid.”
Reporter: “Why is that important in art?”
Sendak: “Because it’s truth. You don’t want to do something that’s all terrifying. I saw the most horrendous movies that were unfit for child’s eyes. So what? I managed to survive.”
The strange thing about this whole thing is parents who take issue with a movie instead of the all of the propaganda and advertising that their kids see on a daily basis on television. “Here sweet-ums just sit here and watch your favorite cartoons and be sure to enjoy the fast food and anti-depressant ads.” I’m not even a parent and I’m disgusted with children’s shows that are passed for quality entertainment. Take that mind numbing show Hannah Montana, where the actress doesn’t have a problem peddling hate speech legislation to kids, or almost anything on the Disney Channel which only makes anyone watching it lose whatever intelligence they once had. The logic of why any good parent would want their kids to watch mainstream television still escapes me.
I’ve got a novel idea for the parents out there; how about you get involved in your kids lives and the things they do? Is it too much to ask that parents take responsibility for their kids up bringing instead of passing it off on other people? If you have a kid, preview what they’re going to watch on TV and movies that you might bring them to so you’re sure it’s something that’s compatible with the beliefs you want to instill in them. Personally I don’t need a nanny to tell me what I can or can’t watch and I don’t need a incompetent parents, who think the world should accommodate their bundles of joy, to sanitize an artist’s work for my consumption.