Let’s Talk About the Hate Crime in IT: Chapter Two



Kellin Hughes, Staff Writer

The first, graphic scene in ‘IT: Chapter Two’ has caused a media storm with many opinions coming from across the board. This is mine, along with some extra thoughts.

If you haven’t seen the movie, or just need a not-so-refreshing refresher, read on. The infamous scene starts when two gay men openly kiss and show affection while at a carnival. A group of punky-looking boys see and start an argument with the men, who soon walk away. The kids follow the men on to a dark bridge, yell homophobic slurs at them, and proceed to beat them up. One of the men get very badly beaten, almost to death, and the kids throw him off the bridge into the fast-moving water below. His boyfriend runs down to the creek only to meet Pennywise holding the man. With nothing anyone could do, Pennywise takes a big bite out of his torso, presumably killing him.

This scene was written by author Stephen King in the original IT book way back in 1986, who based it off a real-life event that took place two years prior: the killing of Charlie Howard.

In my opinion, the scene was essential. Pennywise represents the darkness that can come from humans and King was doing the right thing by using his platform and character as a symbol to expose the evil that is often pushed under the rug.

Many argue that it was unnecessary because the scene took place in 2016. I believe that the time makes it even better because that sort of event can and does still happen in the present (minus the clown, of course, unless you count the one in the white house). It’s the sad truth, but it’s good to be exposed to these types of things for the sake of precaution. The world will never be sunshine and rainbows for anybody, especially for certain groups, and hiding from the hard parts is the worst thing we can do. We cannot move forward if we don’t first face the present, no matter how scary it is.

Some have also said that the scene was far too graphic to be shown. I personally don’t believe it was that bad compared to other movies or even the first ‘IT’ chapter, but being a lover of all things scary, I may be biased. It’s a horror movie about an evil clown that eats people, there is obviously going to be graphic scenes and blood involved and is rated R for a reason. In the end, remember that it’s still just a movie. No matter how real the acting makes it seem, It’s all fake.

On a serious note, it’s shameful that many LGBT+ individuals have to live in fear or hide all together because of ignorant people in the world causing events like this one. It’s even worse that certain political leaders are going as far as taking away protections that the LGBT+ community once had in place for their own selfish reasons. Hopefully one day everyone will be well-educated and able to at least live in peace despite different opinions. Until then, the best we can do is give it time, speak out, be careful, and VOTE. The future is in the hands of the youth and we’re going to run with it.

Check out Equality Michigan, an organization that advocates to address and change issues that impact LGBT+ lives around the state and serve victims of anti-LGBT+ violence and discrimination. Follow the link to learn more or donate.