An Open Letter To Tim Burton

Founder and Editor; Toronto, Canada (@AnarchistTodd)
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This one is something a little bit unusual in these parts. Regular ScreenAnarchy writer Dave Canfield called me last week incredibly excited because he had just landed himself some passes to see a far-in-advance screening of Tim Burton's Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. Canfield is a big time Burton fan, as am I, so he was pretty much ecstatic that he had the chance to see the film early.

I received a much different call from him on Saturday, right around the time he should have been sitting in the theater enjoying the picture. Dave, his wife, and two friends - all of whom had been invited by the PR company running the screening and all of whom had valid tickets for the event - were turned away at the door because the friends Canfield went to the film with are goths and dress the part.

A bit of irony, there ... people being turned away from a Tim Burton film because they like to wear dark clothing and the odd bit of makeup. Go figure. I'm frankly astounded that a professional PR company could botch sonmething like this up so badly. Do they not, in the first place, have some sort of clue just who Burton's fans are? And do they not realize just how incredibly ignorant it is to refuse people admittance to ANYTHING based purely on style of dress when you invited them there in the first place?


Read on for Dave's letter to Tim relating the situation in full detail ... the man was far more calm about things than I would have been in that situation ...


Dear Tim,

Hello, my name is Dave Canfield, a contributor to www.screenanarchy.com. As a long time fan of your films I’m writing to express concern and sadness about the way your new film, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, is being marketed.

As you know two special screenings were just held in Chicago, Illinois at the AMC River East 21 Theater. A friend who was able to attend even heard you were there. Wish I could have said the same.

A few days ago, at a promotional screening of Unleashed, a friend of mine (Scott Shaw, pictured here) and I were approached by a representative of the marketing firm in charge of promoting the Charlie screening: Nielsen NRG - A VNU Company. He offered both of us a letter but Scott and I, realizing each was good for four tickets, only took one which was all we needed to attend with our wives.

scott2.jpg

rachel.jpg


Scott Shaw | Rachel Shaw

As you can see from the picture of Scott he is obviously a Goth. He was dressed as such when approached.

We immediately called in our reservation. To say we were grateful is an understatement.

We went home and told our wives the exciting news and on Saturday left for the theater.

My wife and I don’t get out much. Our five year old is emotionally troubled and it can be difficult to find - much less pay for - sitters. We certainly can’t afford to treat friends to a night out very often.

Here are pictures of how we were dressed.

daveandharmony.jpg

scottandrachel2.jpg


Dave and Harmony Canfield | Scott and Rachel Shaw

We waited in line approximately an hour and a half during which two separate representatives of Nielsen NRG approached us and spoke to us directly. The first representative asked us (and everyone else in line, one at a time) if we had camera phones. The second rep came by about half an hour later, smiled, handed us four tickets and said, “Enjoy the show.”

This is where it gets interesting.

This is where it gets disturbing.

When they started letting people in a man, who later identified himself as Peter Larkin, an employee of Nielsen NRG, took my ticket. But as I made my way to the escalator I noticed my wife Harmony and two friends, Scott and Rachel Shaw, were standing off to the side. Motioning them to hurry up they shook their heads and pointed at Peter.

I asked him what was up. “This is not a costumed event.” he replied.

“A costumed event?” I said, “These people are Goths, they dress this way every day.”

“Well,” says Pete, “This is my event, a private party and they aren’t getting in.”

“Are you telling me,” I said, “that you are not allowing them to attend this event because they look different? That’s blatant discrimination.”

“Look I’ll get you tickets to anything else you want,” says Pete.

“This is a Tim Burton movie, for crying out loud! What is the problem?” says I.

Pete scurried off to find passes for whatever else we wanted while everyone else in line filed by, clearly amused at our plight. By the time he got back we were in no mood to be placated. Needless to say we declined his offer feeling that it was pretty clear he just wanted to cover up his public humiliation of us - intended or not. We tore up the tickets and left as he called for security. I think I said something to the crowd behind us like, “Don’t expect to see a Tim Burton movie if you’re a Goth. So much for the land of the free and the brave.”

I apologize for that. I just wanted to see Peter Larkin squirm a little. Maybe he was just doing his job but in my opinion he did it badly.

I should probably mention at this point that my wife, who as you can see in the picture is clearly not a Goth, had been pulled out of the crowd when it became clear she’d come with Scott and Rachel and told she wouldn’t be allowed to attend either. Guess it doesn’t pay to have the wrong sort of friends.

Scott and Rachel Shaw are two of the quietest, nicest, most respectful people I know. Unlike many Goths that take it out on the world for getting picked on or laughed at they take it in stride. To know them is to love them - even if you think they’re a little weird.

Tim, look at the picture of Scott and Rachel. My friends didn’t have any axe to grind. They don’t even look that odd. Scott wasn’t wearing anything all that distracting. Mr. Larkin could simply have asked him to remove his cloak and he would have blended in fine with the rest of the audience. It was cold outside so he wore his cloak. I know Scott and he doesn’t own a ‘regular’ coat - just the cloak.

But Scott wasn’t given the opportunity to take off his cloak - he was treated like an embarrassment in spite of the fact that Nielsen NRG approached HIM about attending this event.

It isn’t so much that we didn’t get to attend the film that night (although we were invited, waited an hour and a half and given tickets) as it was having two of my friends - big Tim Burton fans - publicly humiliated simply because they - like the protagonists in so many of your films - are different. They didn’t fit in to the white bread, bland, vanilla culture Peter Larkin was clearly interested in tapping into.

I don’t mean that as a dig at the other folks in line. But wasn’t Marilyn Manson supposed to star in this thing? Be that true or not didn’t Depp model his performance around Manson? Isn’t this a darker take on the story?

Polite, respectful, INVITED Goths not allowed into a Tim Burton Film - is there anything else to say?

I would guess you are under a lot of pressure right now what with a new film coming out. I’m certainly not implying that Peter Larkin spoke for you - in fact I believe the opposite is true. It’s my job to forgive but it’s Nielsen NRG’s job to represent you.

I’m publishing this, Tim, mainly because I would really like to see something happen as a result. And I wanted to make sure you saw it.

Doing My Part To Keep America’s Film Culture From Devolving Into What America’s Music Culture Already Has

Dave Canfield


If any of you reading this have the urge to write Nielsen NRG you can find all the relevant contact information here. (Apparently, the contact info on that page is currently invalid. Someone has posted two other emails that seem to be working in the comments section at around comment #22). However, if you do so and you actually want someone to read your letter and take it seriously I would very strongly recommend that you keep it civil and polite. Getting personal, while it may be entertaining, is counter productive.


*** UPDATE ***

We've just gotten a response to this letter from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory screenwriter John August which you can view here.

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svetMay 17, 2005 9:52 AM

This is beyond any words....If this article actually gets to Tim Burton I would love to hear his reply.

opusMay 17, 2005 8:42 PM

Wow... that's incredible. Kurt's comment is right on the money.

ChrisMay 17, 2005 9:10 PM

I am thoroughly apalled by this. I don't understand the Goth thing, but I don't judge people by how they dress. Besides, Dave's friends don't even look that extreme in those pictures. That's a shame, really.

logboyMay 17, 2005 9:19 PM

i am glad warners read this stuff then.

warners : NRG are terrible at their job, or rather a specific individual or two cocked-up.

Todd BrownMay 17, 2005 10:09 PM

As the issue was purely with a Nielsen employee I'd limit any comments to them as far as writing in to complain to anybody.

The best thing people can do is spread the word around and make enough noise in the fan community that the powers that be are forced to take notice and realize that there's a problem in the way things were handled.

peejayMay 18, 2005 12:13 AM

nice one OPUS 13! thats one well written email you've got there. lets hope they take notice.

AimeeMay 18, 2005 12:14 AM

opus13, make sure it was delivered. 2 of my emails have been returned.

tracyMay 18, 2005 12:20 AM

I sent an email as well. If it is returned, I plan to send them the letter via certified mail. That way I can be sure that they receive it.

Von CleefMay 18, 2005 12:35 AM

Hey folks,


It's not your right to see the movie. It's a private event like the man stated.

There's no such thing as discrimination or segregration once you reach "private" property. I'm not saying it's right but just trying to throw in a reality check here that Pete had the right here to deny access as it says so on the pass and any movie preview pass in general. While Pete was definitely a "square" read your passes next time you'll find they always contain language to the effect of "Management reserves the right to not let you in."


In Pete's defense, there was something about your friends that sparked concern in his mind that they may cause some sort of hoohah. Approaching this as "They're fans!" gets you nowhere, you need to rather get the point across that when does dressing differently make one a problem?

By the way, any goth over the age of emotional puberty is SSCCARRREEEY. Any person over 30 who is not over the age of emotional puberty is SSCCARRERYYY.

the girl in blackMay 18, 2005 12:59 AM

"By the way, any goth over the age of emotional puberty is SSCCARRREEEY. Any person over 30 who is not over the age of emotional puberty is SSCCARRERYYY."



Silly me, I thought *that* was the very point of actually being/dressing goth...

MIkeMay 18, 2005 1:23 AM

Uh oh, Opus13, I think you're gonna get some heat for that one. My wife and I also dress goth outside of the office, but I think it's a real stretch to compare one's choice of wardrobe and makeup to one's race and heritage. It does suck that the Shaws were denied admittance, and I'm all for writing a complaint letter, but it looks like this issue's going to get way out of proportion pretty quickly. Now that the promotion company's contact info is posted, I fear that harrassing calls and email will only further convince Nielsen that goths = trouble.

peterMay 18, 2005 1:37 AM

This is really a shame. Sure, it was a free screening, but it sure looks like your friends were singled out and excluded just for the way they dressed.

At best, it's a really poor judgment call on the part of Mr. Larkin. Having been in that position before, I can sympathize -- it can be crazy pressure to deal with VIPs, plus swarms of "ordinary" people, and perhaps he had an eye out for any who he thought might cause trouble. Who knows? Maybe he'd had trouble before with goths, but that doesn't justify what he did. You have to give people the benefit of the doubt -- even if they're not VIPs, even if they didn't pay for their ticket.

It's easier to keep potential trouble-makers out of the theater, rather than trying to eject them later, but, boy, no matter what, it still sounds like a massive overreaction.

IMO, the real question is not, Why this isolated incident? The potentially more troubling question is, Has this happened elsewhere?

FWIW, I wouldn't lean on the idea of being "invited" too heavily. Recruiters for those kind of free screenings pass out invites to many more people than will fit in the theater to try and ensure 100% capacity, and the recruiters' payment depends on their success rate in filling the theater.

jim hensonMay 18, 2005 1:46 AM

Go cry about it, you baby.

steveMay 18, 2005 2:10 AM

Irony can be so ironic sometimes. Goths banned from a Tim Burton movie is like somebody dressed as a Jedi being banned from a Star Wars film.

More like Hasidic Jews being banned from a performance of "Fiddler on the Roof" (they dress that way all the time and are not "in costume" just for the event.)

hostile17May 18, 2005 2:20 AM

I'm really baffled by how someone could do this, but one theory, if it's not too wild, is that they were treating it as a children's film, and thought that Goths would scare little children, or little children's parents?



But that guy sounds not only bad at his job, but incredibly egotistical and rude. Did he really say it was HIS event? That's just SAD.

opus13May 18, 2005 2:26 AM

Hey MIke, I'm with you, I was just taking it to an extreme to illustrate that the motive of the action taken, regardless of how superficial or unimportant it may seem, is discrimination.


I should have clarified that in the post to begin with so my apologies, didn't mean to be needlessly inflammatory. Just attempting (and failing) to be clever. ;)

rdrMay 18, 2005 2:51 AM

Aw, heck....I guess I feel a bit feisty tonight. Here's the email I just sent to Mr. Yoder at NRG:


Subject: Dress codes and damage control...


Oooops......


In the telco world where I've worked for the last fifteen years, we call it an 'ohnosecond'. That is,
that brief period of time during which you realize that you or a member or your team has just
made a Very Bad Mistake.


If your team is not taking steps to soothe the ruffled feathers over at Twitch Films, then you're not
reacting quickly enough to be in the business you're in. Here on Internet Time, the debacle
involving Mr. Canfield has now spread to MetaFilter, a rather large international blog, and you're
well on your way toward alienating a large chunk of the demographic you hope to lure to the
theaters for Mr. Burton's upcoming film.


Case in point: My entire family. A 44 year old networking professional, a 42 year old professional
music teacher, a 17 year old high school senior, and a 14 year old high school freshman. Who own
80% of Mr. Burton's films on either VHS or DVD (in some cases a new DVD replacing an old VHS),
and who also own or have seen in theater Mr. Depp's works.


Guess what new film will have to come around onto the bargain rental shelf at Blockbuster before
we see it?


Ah well, I assume that's okay with your Mr. Larkin. Because I just came home from my six figure
job today in the '92 Soldier Field Dead tie-dye that I wore along with my normal jeans. Not Goth - old
school hippie - but the idea's the same. Since 'our kind' don't fit the new party format for films
by Mr. Burton and Mr. Depp, I guess we'll just have to find other ways to spend our family entertainment
dollars.


-rdr

FISHPANTS HOOYAH!May 18, 2005 2:56 AM

You all have freakishly shaped genitals and smell like rancid milk. That is all.

tracyMay 18, 2005 3:03 AM

Oh my! will they kick us out of the theater for that?

MattMay 18, 2005 4:25 AM

Hey Dave,

That sucks and I can't imagine it's something Tim Burton himself would approve of.

Now, I have an idea for how you might be able to get your message to him. The guy who wrote the script for the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie has a blog, and is very open to reader emails (although they're usually about screenwriting). Anyway, maybe you should send him an email.

His blog is here: http://johnaugust.com/

jasonMay 18, 2005 5:16 AM

that situation is really a shame. however, after seeing what burton did to POTA i wouldn't pay to see his movies anymore and if someone gave me tickets to Charlie and then took them away i'd only be pissed by the fact that it was a personal assault on my physical appearance and/or lifestyle (which is pretty ironic since it's a "burton film"). oh well. maybe you guys will get showered with studio schwag for life for having to go through that ordeal.

reneedoMay 18, 2005 5:25 AM

Dave and Harmony, I'm so disappointed for you and your friends. You're so sweet! Hopefully some good will come out of this. Most people would have thought that your friends were probably extras from a random Burton film.

glortmanMay 18, 2005 6:39 AM

A little fun with google. I wanted to see if this story appeared anywhere else and googled
"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (exact quote) and "Tim Burton" (exact quote) and "Goth" (exact quote)
220 hits. None of them seemed to be about this fiasco.

However, I was inspired.

Googled "Director Tim Burton" and "Goth" (both exact quotes) and returned 1430 hits.

Googled "Tim Burton" and "Goth" (exact quotes) and returned 29,200 hits!

Of course, if you type in "Jesus" and "Linda Lovelace" you get about 19,900 hits, so I have no idea what any of this means.

I am certain however, we should be careful of judging the whole of NRG based on Pete's unfortunate and misguided prejudice. We would be considerably more appalled if all Goths were judged based on the horrific actions of Dylan Kliebold and Eric Harris. I don't boycott Goths because of Columbine.

I recognize that PR firms have a special responsibility, but Pete STILL is an individual working within the framework of NRG.

So let's kill Pete.


LMay 18, 2005 7:30 AM

FYI: NRG's email bounced back.

patrickMay 18, 2005 4:53 PM

who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

jasonMay 18, 2005 10:20 PM

I'm not sure how this could be fixed, but it'd sure be a nice gesture to get a goths only advance screening in Chicago to make up for it.

"This IS a costumed event. You 'Larkin's' will have to leave."

Sheesh...by the time this is done they'll be spinning the incident as publicity FOR the film. no such thing as bad press, etc. Think they'll be disapointed if this ends up on CNN? Nope. Were they taking pictures of people on the way out? Post show interviews? I can't see what this guy was scared of.

DylanMay 19, 2005 6:24 PM

Man, I kind of assumed they were going to be dressed in PVC bondage gear, "Jesus is a cunt" t shirts and full on KISS make up - I could understand a little more not letting them in then (not saying it would be fair, but it's a kids movie). But they're dressed entirely inoffensively, and it's ridiculous they weren't allowed entry, regardless of whether or not it is the management's right to efuse.

stonemonkeyMay 20, 2005 7:48 AM

It must be different in the US, in the UK when the door says NO, there is no offer of free jackets etc. its leave or be made to leave and likely even if you returned in a change of clothing they would still say no having refused you entrance once. How ever I am in no way condoning the behaviour of those that turned them away, just pointing out that they are not obliged to let you in.

gMay 20, 2005 9:33 AM

seems perfectly legal and fine. so you got rejected after you got invited, they had every right to do that. you simply should have dressed as they suggested to attend a private event. maybe next time you'll store some normal tshirts and jeans in the back of your car? ahaha!

daveMay 20, 2005 10:06 AM

Stonemonkey..
Yeah I understand that, however, the door inthis case, did invite them there. The door allowed them to be there for an hour, and the door checked them twice for cameras and such. That was all good. The problem was one guy who seemed to have a different opinion from everyone else that was working there that night.

And why that would stem over onto asking "undressed up" people who knew them to leave also doesn't make much sense.

Captain Of The InternetMay 20, 2005 8:45 PM

I've worked with Nielsen/NRG before (I own a market research company). They've been assholes before. I'm not surprised that they damaged their research sample by turning away people they didn't like at the door. Fucking nuts.

paulMay 21, 2005 2:19 AM

lets not even get into the black/jewish/gay thing cause its not relevent here. these dudes waited in line for over an hour and were given passes. If mr larkin didnt like the look of them then he should have told them there was a dress code as soon as they arrived.

sneezeMay 22, 2005 3:38 AM

I suppose in case of ANY dress code/face control it must be mentioned BEFORE people come to show!

bloodcicleMay 28, 2005 12:47 AM

As a Goth well over 30 I say: It's good to be scary. Most of my Goth friends are over 30 and never had the "16 year old mentality". We are all professionals and hold decent jobs. It's a shame that a few faceless trolls have to be so rude. Anyway...

I'm sorry that you kids got turned away. That wasn't fair. I know it says 'management reserves the right' etc etc...but they were only singling out Goths. The tickets do not state what manner of dress is allowed and not allowed. If they did I'm sure they would have been more reserved with their attire. Although from the pics I saw they were EXTREMELY low key.

I did my part and wrote a civil letter to the company. I don't know if it will help but, I'm with you guys.

Darkness, Moon yada yadaMay 29, 2005 5:14 AM

Goths are a bunch of fucking tossers. Those two twerps who wanted to see the movie should get a life instead of acting like moronic teenagers :)

Beavis and ButtheadMay 29, 2005 5:26 PM

you guys look like dorks ehehehehheheh you're OLD hehehehehehehehehh you listen to music for like people who have no friends hehehehehehh

CanfieldMay 29, 2005 5:28 PM

heheheheheheheh I think hehehehehe I like this guy.

MezmerizeMay 29, 2005 7:59 PM

Rejecting some one, who is different than you and having no reason for it is just wrong.
They had no dress-code not notified.
"Goths are a bunch of fucking tossers." Rejecting some one, who is different than you and having no reason for it is just wrong.
They had no dress-code not notified.
"Goths are a bunch of fucking tossers."

P. OserMay 30, 2005 5:44 PM

Well too bad, so sad, that's life. Sure, you can dress like you want to but that doesn't mean everyone else has to like it. That was a private event and they have the right to let in whoever they want and to keep out whoever they want - just like we all do at our homes or businesses.

"Goth" is stupid....it's such a pathetic CRY for ATTENTION! HAAA!

KurtMay 30, 2005 8:41 PM

Wow, this thread has really brought out the insensitive nutbars, who, thankfully, are usually silent around here...

If you've got nothing constructive to say...well...please refrain...

PhilJuly 14, 2005 10:02 PM

I'm waiting on the day that you're barred from public events due to the color of your skin, oh wait, that already happened, right?

Evil Evil Evil

Phil

CarmenJuly 15, 2005 10:26 PM

Wow! These Goth-haters are really stupid. They're the type of people who 1, listen to posers like Justin Timberlake, or 2, think they're "gangsta." Pathetico, no? They should probably keep their lame, meaningless opinions to themselves, lest they make fools of themselves....Oops....Too late..Hehe

TimothyPincushionJanuary 22, 2006 6:36 AM

This is stupid from both sides from the moment labels are mentioned; do you really think a sweet fairytale such as Edward Scissorhands is goth? then you haven't even seen the movie; what need is there for you to label things, such as movies, and yourselves? have the guts to be you, the director isn't even a self labelled idiot such as yourselves, what's with the need of belonging to some ridiculous group just so you can now without problems what your features should be like instead of finding out yourself?

CanfieldJanuary 27, 2006 8:32 PM

You mean like people who go on and on denigrating something they know little about? Just want to clarify.

Your comments are way too far reaching. Can't wait til you're denied entrance to a public event (that you were invited to by the way)based on your appearance.

Whether Goth is a culture certainly isn't the issue here but your casual and ignorant dismissal of an entire group of people is.

Sorry I don't fit in to your world.

By the by I don't night club, dress ultra dark or wear makeup so this isn't about identifying myself as anything.

MattJune 24, 2006 12:09 AM

Goths are pathetic. They all defend their clique like it's not really a clique, but a CULTURE. Why? Why do they choose to suffer and be outcasts instead of just enjoying their youth? In the end it all comes down to being a pointless phase that they look back on and laugh about as adults. "Ha ha, I was Goth back in the day. I had green hair and everything. Boy am I glad I grew out of that rebellious youth phase", is what they're all gonna be saying. I don't understand why youth defend a bunch of shit for nothing. They stand up and fight for Goth acceptance and in the end they just say "Fuck it" and quit their little 'culture'. If it stuck with them I would understand and support their beliefs, even though I don't personally agree with them. But Goth is going nowhere, people are being quitters and dismissing all they once stood for as a phase once they hit a certain point in their life. Why? It must mean that Goth is nothing, or their would be an equal amount of adults as there are teens involved in it. It wouldn't be something to grow out of, but to take pride in and actually want to be Goth, regardless of age. If Goth is so important, so worthy of defending, why do they let people deny them access to a Tim Burton movie? Why don't they sue for discrimination? I'll tell you why, BECAUSE THEY CAN'T. Goth must somehow be irrelevant to the definition of 'culture'. Therefore, it's merely a clique and society just sees Goths as a label, a category of kid or immature adult who didn't get passed the whole 'rebellious' thing yet that all teens go through in some way or another. If Goth was important and protected by the government that asshole would have been afraid to deny those people access to a movie just because of the way they dressed. Goths would have power and wouldn't have to tolerate dirty looks from people in stores and there would also be less hate sites about them on the Internet, but that's not the way things are, is it? If I'm wrong then please correct me, but I doubt I'm wrong. If you fuck with a Goth you might get sued, but not for a hate crime, just a regular crime, regardless if you were 'prejudice' against Goths or not. I'm not just trying to start trouble here. I might just be an ignorant stupid bastard, and if I am I want someone to prove to me I'm wrong, and that discriminating against Goths is something that could qualify as a hate crime. Tell me that if I decide to harass a Goth that I would be penalized just as harshly as if I harassed some black guy because of the color of his skin. Tell me that Goths are a true minority protected by law, and I swear to God that I'll shut the fuck up forever about them, ok? I'm challenging you people to tell me everything I want to know, give me some proof that Goths are recognized in this country as important people.

MattJuly 18, 2006 12:38 AM

I guess goths really are just worthless motherfuckers after all! Stupid teenagers, dressing funny to be part of a clique and NOT a culture! Grow the fuck up you morons! Everyone thinks you're immature moping around and trying to look 'scary' with your black clothes and makeup. You're never gonna get a job if you continue being rebellious, you gothic bastards! You're so fucking pretentious and everyone laughs at you because of it. Why can't you all just be normal? I'm serious, just conform to everyone else's tastes in clothing and stop being attention whores. You're not artistic, you're not special or important, you don't have above average intelligence so just face it, you're just the same as everyone else with or without this so-called fashion you've adopted. You're in the same boat as every other teenager who's struggling to find an identity. At least young goths are sort of cute, doing what teenagers do, stereotyping their personality by their choices of clothing and music, but once you become an adult this whole goth thing is no longer acceptable. It's a YOUTH SUBCULTURE, not an adult AND youth subculture. Adults will laugh at you even more than they laugh at teens who are into the goth thing if you're still gothic at 30. There's a time that comes in everyone's life when they start to realize that it's time to grow up and let go of childish things, and goth is no exception. And I hate this bullshit involving goths and religion. They all convert to Wicca or Neo-Paganism because it's the 'cool' thing to do. Religion is serious business but apparently goths don't see it that way. I don't believe in Christianity but it's a whole lot better than witchcraft! All those fucking gothics are trying to rebel against their Christian parents and they deserve a good ass kicking to set them straight! I am a man with standards and I would never let my kid become a goth, so other parents out there shouldn't either! Goths are disrespectful towards authority and society in general so DON'T ALLOW YOUR KID TO BE GOTHIC NO MATTER HOW MUCH HE OR SHE BEGS AND PLEADS AND SAYS THAT GOTH ISN'T WHAT YOU THINK IT IS! GOTH IS WRONG! GOTH IS STUPID! YOUR KID WILL TURN OUT PERFECT IF YOU DON'T ALLOW HIM TO JOIN A SUBCULTURE!

BeckyAugust 18, 2006 8:53 PM

May I just comment on the fact that this 'chat' started up being about two nice, friendly-looking Goths being asked to leave a cinema screening by some useless WANKER! I, myself, have been asked to leave places like cinemas and theatres because I am white, very, very white, I am a woman (sexist basterds!) and because I am 'scary'. Even though I am a Goth, may I comment on the use of the capital 'G', I am still a Human Being, made from flesh and blood, we too have feelings and emotions and we find it offensive and upsetting to be asked to leave somewhere because we 'might scare and/or offend the patrons'. I am Roman Catholic, my perants reluctentedly have to accept me and my Gothic husband. So stop your offensive talk and get a life! I am also 40, I have been a Goth since I was 9! 31 years, I am never going to grow out of it, and in fact because of it my kids, all 6 of them, will never offend or bully a Goth, ever. Actaully two of my kids, Isabella and Richard II, are Goths themselves. Slagging us off is disrespectful, socailly and morally wrong.

KaivxnOctober 17, 2006 4:53 AM

I am 24 and Victorian Goth (yes, there are different types),Christian (no, I didn't convert, but my personal beliefs are constantly changing), graduated Cum Laude, have a good paying job in the media and have the preppist sister ever, half of her clothes come from A&F. Did that break any sterotypes out there? There are hateful and nice people in every interest in life, they can be in full leather or the current sweat pant with "PRINCESS" on the butt and flipflops. I can't understand how one can look an outfit you are wearing (outside of Nazi skinhead crap, of course) and decide automatically that that person is not worth the time to talk to.
I am sorry to hear about your situation, and hope you enjoyed the movie (which by the time of my post, is on DVD).

BOOBOctober 27, 2006 6:26 PM

Whoops, I forgot the cleavage!!!

( . )Y( . )

ElizabethNovember 1, 2006 9:19 PM

The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at
the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
-- 1 Samuel 16:7

BrianMarch 17, 2007 12:36 AM

Well i know this might be a bit late but i just ran across this article.However i wish to express my most heartfelt condolencses to the couple.This is a sad story and one that repeats consistantly every where.It seems the last thrid of the comments have totaly missed the point being made.Also looking up the definition of goth it is a culture and regonized as one and it has subcultures within it it is especialy regonized by britain(its esiental birthplace).Lastly i am glad to see the parties involved handled it so well.

best wishes
Brian

MattApril 12, 2007 9:52 PM

I'm sure you're questioning my statements concerning Goth as a culture. Well, you must understand that I personally have listened to numerous Goths attempt to define what they actually consider to be a culture. And when you search "Goth Culture" results are not difficult to discover. I find it absurd! A complete disgrace to cultures which should otherwise feel dignified. 'Subculture' is an atrocious term as well. That simply can be defined as a culture within a dominant culture. Gypsies, Aborigines, and various African tribes can therefore be considered subcultures. Yet these kid cliques are perceived as something more significant than they actually are! It enrages me! Cultures should justify the fact that these adolescents IN A PHASE are not at all related. You can't automatically assume that my rants are vapid and stemming from nowhere. I simply wish to understand why these cultures are being disrespected and why others are blatantly disregarding the genuine interpretation of the word 'culture'. Cultures make outstanding contributions...what have GOTHS done? Or emos, punks, or other 'alternative' youth-oriented 'movements'? Nothing! They are entirely opposed to the traditional current of thought that is prevalent throughout many societies or cultures, if you will. They are COUNTERCULTURES! "Let's destroy the elaborate structure known as culture" they think to themselves as they giggle, incapable of recognizing that establishment is how society in general must thrive and how they are capable of thriving with accessible clothing, food, shelter-and not merely basic clothing! They have a 'Gothic' brand of clothing. Not merely food- marketed, produced, obtainable food such as Doritos and assorted garbage. Not merely shelter- rather, very ostentatious displays of middle class sumptuousness. Culture my ass. Rebellion is accurate, and although I don't wish to see youth oppressed simply because they were born later, and therefore I can identify with youth and understand why rebellion is important, they should at the very least be more original with what they're doing. I mean, like that hasn't been achieved by millions of youth across every developed nation! Oddly enough, it's still quite an effective strategy for angering parents and frightening those of an advanced age.

MattMay 1, 2007 7:22 AM

The thing about Goth that I sincerely despise is that whole "I am unique! I am important! I am intelligent! I am 2000 year old vampire!" attitude that they frequently display. Why can't 'Goths' accept the fact that they are not any more intelligent, any more important, any more insightful than 'average' teenagers. Probably the most 'intelligent' thing to come out of their mouths are "um, i liek, think bats r cool and stuff. oh ya, and vampires. LOL, how evar cud i forget taht!!!! Ppl laf @ mah cloths n call me stupid well i think thar stupid! fuck them! im in a vampyre cult!!! he he he tim burton is totally kewliez!" The IQ of a Goth is typically around 100, LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. Goths derive attention from their all-black wardrobes, in an attempt to be considered special by the 'mundanes.' But all they have is aesthetics, music, and childish Tim Burton films. There is no 'depth' to Goth, no significance. They are simply another brand of teenager. They don't even do anything to be recognized for besides attempting to shock people. I have more respect for the original Punk subculture than for these idiots known as Goths. At least punks had their politics and were quite intelligent (although not extremely). Goths just fail. Goth will die soon because it lacks foundation, dedicated adherents, and an actual purpose for continuing to thrive. Goths are those who want to discover what persecution feels like, and since they are upper middle-class white folks they could never have a reason to complain or to feel passionately about defending something. So they create something, but that passion eventually dies when they realize it was all an attempt to find an identity, just a stage of growing up, like all of the stages they've experienced previously.

CourtneyJune 5, 2007 2:13 PM

Matt,

Goth is indeed a culture. It is simply that society does not recognize it as such because society prefers to suppress any group of people that oppose 'traditional' values.

As a result, Goth is considered adolescent-oriented, as adolescents possess a very low position in society, which is unfortunate. In reality, there are plenty of adult Gothic people, which would be apparent if only society were not attempting to subdue Goths in what happens to be the most effective manner possible.

Surely the majority would contend that youth are irresponsible and maintain irrational ideas (although I would contend otherwise), and therefore Goth becomes a less appealing ideology to those who profess their 'maturity' or are simply older.

So yes, this 'youth subculture' misconception is the result of society and it's inability to tolerate alternate opinions, belief systems, and ways of life. Since youth are frequently discriminated against by practically EVERYONE, to suggest that Goth is merely a product of adolescent rebellion is a method that will dissuade others from undergoing a change in appearance and actually being an adherent of the Gothic culture.

The media was mainly responsible for the perception of Goth as youthful, as they inaccurately condemned the Gothic culture, claiming that the Columbine murderers were influenced by it, although they certainly were not, as Goths are devoted to pacifism.

Afterwards, teenagers actually interpreted the media as being correct, and assumed that Goth would be a perfect way to challenge established norms or perhaps simply enjoyed the fact that they could induce a state of shock within the conservatives.

Rebellion is not at all ridiculous, yet to misrepresent an entire culture certainly is. I do hope this 'enlightens' those who decide to read my comment.

Jarred FalknerJune 6, 2007 11:50 AM

I agree with those who defend the fact that Goth is a culture. MATT, on the other hand, is the type of person who should be condemned for his obvious negative attitude toward Goths. Hatred toward ANYONE is completely unacceptable, whether it's Goths or a more mainstream group like Christians. There should be a law against Goth discrimination. It's obviously not just fashion and music, and those who think it is are NOT Gothic, I am sorry to say. Goth is a philosophy, belief system, and culture. I am unsure if those people who were discriminated against were truly Gothic, or simply claiming to be, but if they were then this is just horrible. And it's horrible anyway because appearance is just an absurd thing to discriminate against. What, does everyone have to look the same? If so, than this is a world I honestly would prefer not to live in. Yeah so basically Matt can most likely be considered one of those idiotic conservatives who enjoy bashing those who happen to have different beliefs and an appearance that doesn't fit into a mold that is recognized as 'proper.' So Goth is not a culture? Is that right, Matt? Give me a break! Just because it's not YOUR culture doesn't mean it shouldn't be considered a culture at all.