In THE AVENGERS, a particularly intense scene occurs wherein Thor, in an attempt to defend his brother Loki, is struck down by Black Widow, who simply states, "He killed 80 people in two days." Taken aback, Thor smiles meekly and replies, "He's adopted?"
Those two words have apparently struck a nerve, with some crying foul at Whedon's disrespect toward the adopted community, with their logic being that adoption = bad guy. As is typical of the Internet, commenters came out in full force to tell the creator of the petition, Jamie Berke, to "lighten up."
And they're right. Her argument that the filmmakers intended to portray adoption as something that leads to evil completely ignores the context in which the line was presented. Thor loved him like a brother, regardless of their bloodline or his actions. Saying he's adopted was merely an attempt at distancing himself from Loki's murderous behavior. Hell, if anything, Thor's defense of Loki highlights that adopted children are no less special than their non-adopted siblings.
Despite this, it's indicative of a greater problem. Far too often innocuous attempts at humor or simple portrayals of characters are met with anger over their presumed offensiveness, and far too often someone forgets to remove the stick firmly lodged in their ass. You only have to look at the comments in the petition to see this.
"My brother and sister are adopted, so things insulting or belittling adoption do offend me, but this is not the case for this line. You are warping the intention behind this line and hoping people will latch on to this 'cause'."
"I am signing this petition because I am adopted and I would like to distance myself from fellow adoptees who are so sensitive and insecure that they can't just take a fricking joke. Seriously. You're attacking a social stigma that doesn't exist and drawing attention to something that isn't a problem."
The petition, available on Change.org has garnered 320 signatures at the time of this writing, and will no doubt reach the 500 required to continue being ignored by Marvel and mocked for its ridiculousness.
It's perfectly understandable to be offended, but when you completely ignore context in an attempt to garner sympathy for an issue that doesn't exist, then you're the problem, not the solution. Everything is fair game in humor, even adoption.
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