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Ralph Fiennes argues against trigger warnings in the theater, says audiences should be ‘shocked,’ ‘disturbed’

ralph-fiennes-argues-against-trigger-warnings-in-the-theater,-says-audiences-should-be-‘shocked,’-‘disturbed’
Ralph Fiennes argues against trigger warnings in the theater, says audiences should be ‘shocked,’ ‘disturbed’

Actor Ralph Fiennes railed against trigger warnings in the theater and said audiences should be “shocked and disturbed” by theater performances. 

Fiennes told BBC on Sunday that audiences have gone “too soft,” in response to BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg. 

“I think we didn’t used to have trigger warnings. I mean, there are very disturbing scenes in Macbeth, terrible murders and things. But I think the impact of theater should be that you’re shocked and you should be disturbed. I don’t think you should be prepared for these things and when I was young, we never had trigger warnings for shows,” he said, according to reports.

During his media appearance, he went on to say that warnings for things like strobe lights or other effects should still remain. 

Ralph Fiennes

Ralph Fiennes pictured on Andy Cohen’s show.  (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo via Getty Images))

“Shakespeare’s plays are full of murders, full of horror. As a young student and lover of theater, I never experienced trigger warnings telling me: ‘By the way, in King Lear, Gloucester’s going to have his eyes pulled out,'” he continued.

The British Film Institute (BFI) has provided multiple trigger warnings for audiences ahead of its upcoming season of classic film screenings in tribute to British film composer John Barry, including James Bond movies.

The films shown at the upcoming “John Barry: Soundtracking Bond and Beyond” BFI season have been given a disclaimer warning that they “will cause offence [sic],” the Guardian and the Daily Mail reported in January.

James Bond Sean Connery

Multiple classic James Bond films have been given trigger warnings by the British Film Institute ahead of upcoming screenings at its theater.  (Getty Images)

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British universities reportedly began putting trigger warnings on great Greek and Shakespearean tragedies for students who may be sensitive to their dark content in January 2023.

U.K. outlet The Telegraph reported at the time that the University of Derby and several other British universities have deemed celebrated tragedies like Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” as “potentially upsetting” for students.

University staff attached “trigger warnings” to a school literature module that covers classic tragedies, cautioning students that the works are “obsessed” with suffering.

Ralph Fiennes

Ralph Fiennes attends “The Menu” New York Premiere at AMC Lincoln Square Theater on November 14, 2022, in New York City.  (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images))

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The Telegraph reported, “Athenian dramas concerning the deaths of mythical kings, and Arthur Miller’s classic Death of a Salesman, are also on the reading list for the module, which has been given a blanket advisory on how the tragic could be troubling.”

Fox News’ Gabriel Hays contributed to this report.

Hanna Panreck is an associate editor at Fox News.

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