The “He’s Adopted” Line in Avengers Is Not Funny

Since I’ve mentioned the wonderful movie “The Avengers” on this blog, I’ve been getting e-mails about a certain exchange in the movie that has cause some consternation in the adoption community.  Since we are a family that grew through adoption, we’ve been asked how we dealt with this questionable dialogue:

Thor: He is of Asgard and he is my brother!

Black Widow: He killed 80 people in 2 days.

Thor [deadpan]: He’s adopted.

Honestly, I had no idea this was in the movie.  As I have mentioned before, I’m not a part of The French Movie Club (which includes my husband and two older kids) because our adoptive daughter Naomi is too little to see movies without talking animals.  Most of the time, I stay home with her to let the others enjoy their films.

But it does seem that many people were taken aback by this dialogue.  In the New York Times Motherlode blog, Jessica Crowell, an adoptee, writes about her experience with the film:

It was the biggest laugh line in the movie theater yet. As an adoptee and comic book fan, I sat in the dark theater stunned. I thought of the 12- and 13-year-olds whom I had just seen file into the theater with their parents. Were any of them adopted children as well? Were any of the adults, like me, a member of an adoptive family? Was everyone laughing, or did it just sound like everyone? Shaken, I turned to my boyfriend and politely told him I wanted to leave.

She goes on to say, “No doubt, some will think adoptees are overreacting. But what does this mean for adoptees, and perpetuating the stigma surrounding adoptee status?”  Read the rest here, and be aware of the line if you are attending this very popular film. Whether you have adoptive kids or not, it’s a thoughtless line that might be a good conversation starter on the way home from the theater.

UPDATE: A different take on that line, as well as other adoption themes in movies!

Nancy also writes for The Home Front blog, where this first appeared.

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