Is it worth it for the film industry to target the old?

Everyday Ageism: CHRISTA D’SOUZA asks is it worth it for the film industry to target the old as an audience?

  • Ol Parker joked old viewers would keep watching The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  • Screenwriter claimed the audience would forget they’ve seen it due to their age
  • Christa D’Souza argues comments about forgetfulness are offensive and wrong 

It’s the last tolerated prejudice. But Femail’s had enough. It’s time we called out those day-to-day moments when we’re patronised for no longer being young…

Is it worth it for the film industry to target the old as an audience? I ask this question upon coming across a remark made by screenwriter Ol Parker after his film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel — about a bunch of pensioners going off to live in India — came out. Parker’s theory about its popularity was that ‘some of the audience were just so old that they’d forget that they’d been, so they could go again and again as if for the first time, perpetually, a bit like goldfish really’.

Christa D’Souza (pictured) argued comments about forgetfulness are offensive, after coming across a remark made by Ol Parker

Back when it came out in 2012 and I was a mere slip of a 50-year-old, I might have found that funny. But now I’m a decade older it sticks in the craw. Maybe it is because my Gen Z kids have suddenly started being so merciless about my own forgetfulness.

It’s true, I am more scatter-brained than I was when I was younger. But this is only because I’ve got so much more information stored in my brain than they have, having lived that much longer.

The assumption that, as I keep mislaying the car keys I must be losing my mind, is not just offensive, it is wrong. Make it stop.


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