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19,301 hits 4.0 (2 votes) Share Favorite | Flag 8 years ago by 314159

Should films and TV shows have trigger warnings?
A warning that it could cause post traumatic flashbacks for viewers, e.g. for content related to sexual assault or violence


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8 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Sunday 3/16/14 - 12:27:48 AM EST (GMT-5)
Most people will know roughly what the TV program or film is about and will know whether or not it is likely to contain triggers.
8 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Sunday 3/16/14 - 12:30:15 AM EST (GMT-5)
no, that's silly
8 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Sunday 3/16/14 - 6:48:30 AM EST (GMT-5)
They could simply have a warning screen just as they do the whole, "DO NOT PIRATE THIS DVD" thing and "TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONES" in the theatre. Not just for sexual assault but also for things that could cause motion sickness or trigger seizures.

Thankfully, with the internet, it's easy to find out about that stuff...and usually people roughly know what to expect...but sometimes people are caught off guard.
8 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Sunday 3/16/14 - 10:26:46 AM EST (GMT-5)
I've just found out that there is a site for these:

Movietriggers
8 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Sunday 3/16/14 - 4:13:41 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Sunday 3/16/14 - 10:26:46 AM 314159 wrote:
I've just found out that there is a site for these: [link]

Interesting site
8 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Sunday 3/16/14 - 5:39:50 PM EST (GMT-5)
Don't they kinda already do anyway?

"Warning: This program contains strong language and violence or something, meant for a mature audience, and is not intended for viewers under 14."

8 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Sunday 3/16/14 - 5:43:34 PM EST (GMT-5)
not enough of a trigger
need to be more specific
need to hold peoples hands because the world is scawy
8 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Sunday 3/16/14 - 5:44:25 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Sunday 3/16/14 - 5:39:50 PM HardRocks wrote:
Don't they kinda already do anyway? "Warning: This program contains strong language and violence or something, meant for a mature audience, and is not intended for viewers under 14."

But there's quite often nothing if they mention, say, rape or child abuse, so those things can sneak up on people.
8 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Sunday 3/16/14 - 7:00:00 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Sunday 3/16/14 - 5:44:25 PM 314159 wrote:
But there's quite often nothing if they mention, say, rape or child abuse, so those things can sneak up on people.

Psh, spoilers.
8 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Sunday 3/16/14 - 7:13:51 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Sunday 3/16/14 - 5:43:34 PM KRM wrote:
not enough of a trigger need to be more specific need to hold peoples hands because the world is scawy

need to be more insensitive for some vague principled aesthetic
8 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Sunday 3/16/14 - 7:37:17 PM EST (GMT-5)
Do they even still make movies without sex & violence?
8 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Sunday 3/16/14 - 7:38:20 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Sunday 3/16/14 - 5:44:25 PM 314159 wrote:
But there's quite often nothing if they mention, say, rape or child abuse, so those things can sneak up on people.


The movie 'Sleepers', for example contains both. First time I seen that film, I had no idea the boys were going to be abused in the juvenile prison. Had someone put one of these 'trigger warnings' on before the film started, it wouldn't have come as a shock when it happened, thus ruining the impact of the movie.
8 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Sunday 3/16/14 - 7:49:00 PM EST (GMT-5)
It could be optional. It's not like a big message has to come out at the start of the Sixth Sense saying "Trigger warning - Bruce Willis is a ghost!"
8 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Sunday 3/16/14 - 8:20:40 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Sunday 3/16/14 - 7:38:20 PM Guilty_Spark wrote:
The movie 'Sleepers', for example contains both. First time I seen that film, I had no idea the boys were going to be abused in the juvenile prison. Had someone put one of these 'trigger warnings' on before the film started, it wouldn't have come as a shock when it happened, thus ruining the impact of the movie.


And for you (and many, many people), that's fine—you clearly don't have a personally traumatic reaction to the content in that movie. But to someone else, that kind of unexpected sexual violence could cause PTSD symptoms, among other things.

I do think it should be optional, and I like the idea of the site that was linked earlier in the thread.
(I searched for "Sleepers" and found it was tagged "child rape" and "prison")
8 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Monday 3/17/14 - 12:07:10 AM EST (GMT-5)
It wouldn't be too difficult just to put a trigger warning on a small note on the box, or just after the preview along with the other notices, would it?

And with the benefit of preventing people experiencing symptoms of PTSD during a movie, it really seems like the small inconvenience is dwarfed by the avoided misery.
8 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Monday 3/17/14 - 1:47:32 AM EST (GMT-5)
I know what your thinking. What's up with the Horse?

That's the horse from Roy Rogers. Trigger was his name. get it? So if you do a google image search for movie trigger, you might find this horse.
8 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Monday 3/17/14 - 2:00:44 AM EST (GMT-5)
Trauma triggers are not directly related to similar scenes.

A woman abused by a relative when a little girl can be triggered by footsteps on creaky staircase more than an abuse scene in a movie.
8 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Monday 3/17/14 - 6:08:36 AM EST (GMT-5)
On Monday 3/17/14 - 2:00:44 AM Abzurd wrote:
Trauma triggers are not directly related to similar scenes.


This is what came to mind for me too. Triggers vary a lot for individuals, and whilst you do get common reports of "obvious" ones (e.g. seeing a news report about the traumatic event), a lot of them can just be arbitrary things that happen to get associated in memory (e.g. a sound or the colour of a shirt). One of the points made quite often in the literature is that it's often not a semantic link, so viewing a rape scene might be particularly uncomfortable for a rape victim, but it's not necessarily a trigger in that sense.
8 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Monday 3/17/14 - 6:09:15 AM EST (GMT-5)
I take subjective reports on these things with a pinch of salt, but there was one reported case of a person with PTSD following a car crash who experienced intrusive thoughts and anxiety whilst sitting in his garden on a sunny day. It was later interpreted that the sun shining of the lawn was linked to the car headlights. Another person had an issue turning left in her kitchen once because that's the direction she turned to look out her car window after being in an accident.

I'm not opposed to things that might help people, and I'm not claiming that some triggers aren't more common than others, but I wonder how effective/exhaustive an attempt to cover them can be. The problem with a lot of triggers lacking a semantic link is that people don't realise what the link is, so they assume things like panic attacks and flashbacks occur randomly.
8 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Monday 3/17/14 - 10:26:53 AM EST (GMT-5)
It would be unrealistic to suggest that people cover all triggers ever. I believe anyone supporting trigger warnings is most likely suggesting that obvious ones be covered - not every single little thing. It's pretty idiotic to assume anyone would expect individual, non-obvious triggers to carry warnings.
8 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Monday 3/17/14 - 10:27:27 AM EST (GMT-5)


For me, viewing a rape scene can be triggering and I know it's the case for other people as well. I have been caught off guard with some movies. I don't run away from watching those scenes but it is best that I know about them so that I can mentally prepare myself for them.

I've also had the not so obvious triggers. There was a TV show I watched in which one of the characters had the same hairstyle and facial expressions/mannerisms as my attacker. For some reason, I didn't immediately make the connection but I found his presence disturbing...until his character attempted to assault another character (what a coincidence).
8 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Monday 3/17/14 - 10:28:11 AM EST (GMT-5)
And there is absolutely no way ever ever ever that I would expect anyone ever to put trigger warnings on TV shows and movies of "warning - a dude with this hairstyle who makes those facial expressions appears in this film". No f*cking way.

(Also, that's not the first time I've encountered that trigger. There was a guy in a music video I saw who had the hairdo/mannerisms and it was triggering. Uh, I seriously will be very happy once this damn hairstyle goes away)
(but that's just me)
8 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Monday 3/17/14 - 10:34:07 AM EST (GMT-5)
"until his character attempted to..."

I meant, I didn't make the specific connection UNTIL that moment.
I also experienced a delayed connection with the music video...and it seems like it's something that I'd connect right away but these guys didn't really LOOK like him as far as physical features and clothing go.

But, after the TV show incident, I've become more aware of the hairstyle thing. And I'm sure guys with every hairstyle on the planet have assaulted someone, somewhere, at some point in time. So, pretty much every film ever would have to have "warning - someone in this film might have a hairstyle that belonged to the person who attacked you" warning.

And obviously obviousssssssssly that's ridiculous.
8 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Monday 3/17/14 - 5:27:51 PM EST (GMT-5)
No, you're wrong. We need the government, the FCC to make these warnings mandatory. We clearly can't be expected to handle our mental issues on our own. We need the government to protect us, from our own damaged minds.
8 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Monday 3/17/14 - 5:29:10 PM EST (GMT-5)
don't they normally say the specifics in the ratings?

i'm sure i've seen stuff say things like 'this film has been rating WHATEVER for strong instances of x, y, and z, and one example of strong b'

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