Vomit-Eating Teenagers and Dead Dogs: Cannes Highlights Why Movies Need More Trigger Warnings
Clayton Davis Senior Awards Editor The disturbing thriller “Club Zero” that played at Cannes will divide audiences and critics with a scene of a teen eating vomit, but director Jessica Hausner gets one crucial thing right: It starts with a trigger warning for attendees, stating that the film features scenes regarding eating disorders. Of course, there will be many opinions on the auteur’s execution and theme, but in the same way her villainous lead character promotes “conscious eating,” Hausner delivered a “conscious warning.” This practice should become the norm for content, whether movies or television. Not only should an advisory be shown at the beginning, but marketing departments should brainstorm ways to include it on posters, trailers and other campaigns. We, and studios, cannot rely solely on the MPAA rating system to inform viewers of brutal scenes that could be triggering. “Club Zero” involves scenes and topics of bulimia, while many other films and shows casually depict scenes featuring rape, school shootings and more.