‘James Bond’ Joins Growing List of Classics Given ‘Trigger Warnings’

The James Bond franchise has been hit by a new wave of criticism. The British Film Institute had placed trigger warnings on two Sean Connery Bond films featured in their latest exhibition “John Barry: Soundtracking Bond and Beyond” The trigger warnings were displayed on the website of Sean Connery’s Bond depictions in the 1964 film Goldfinger and the 1967 film You Only Live Twice. The BFI claimed that the films “will cause offense” due to “language, images or other content that reflect views prevalent in its time.”

The warnings drew ridicule from the public and outrage from fans. However, the BFI defended their decision by referencing a 2021 survey conducted by the British Board of Film Classification which found that almost two-thirds of teenagers polled supported trigger warnings on films which might negatively affect their mental health.

In response, some media outlets listed out different 007 movies that warranted trigger warnings, including the iconic opening titles, describing it as “innovative, languid, iconic and definitely influential,” but also highlighting the presence of “oodles of naked women draping themselves around guns, doing nude roly-polys for no reason.”

Criticism and controversy over the Bond series is not new. Last year reprints of the novels written by Ian Fleming came with a disclaimer that the books “were written at a time when terms and attitudes which might be considered offensive by modern readers were commonplace.”

The concept of trigger warnings is new, meant to emotionally prepare consumers for possible depictions of violence or other unsettling things with the belief that individuals who have suffered past trauma might be taken back to their trauma if exposed unwittingly to similar experiences. However, some argue that trigger warnings have a detrimental effect as the warnings themselves can serve as triggers for anxiety.

The debate on trigger warnings has led to a bigger, more existential discussion about the role of discomfort and struggle in life, and whether trigger warnings are compromising the natural, necessary human process of dealing with adversity.

The ongoing debate has sparked discussions on the need for viewers to take responsibility for their mental health and emotions and learn to handle difficult content instead of censoring and avoiding it.

With James Bond serving as a prime example of the artistic struggle between free speech and political correctness, it is raising questions about how far some are willing to go to politically sanitize culture, and at what cost.

Fans of the franchise have expressed their outrage on social media over these trigger warnings. The public continues to debate the issue as they anxiously await the premieres of new James Bond movies. This issue highlights the ever-increasing influence of political correctness on art and the media. We will have to wait to see how this influences future Bond films as the debate continues.