Since Joker hit theaters in October, tourists have been flocking to one the most recognizable filming locations in the movie: a set of steps in the Bronx where Joaquin Phoenix’s character danced in a red suit and clown makeup.
Meanwhile, locals who live near the stairs and use them to get around the neighborhood have become incredibly annoyed.
But Burger King is hoping to make it up to them, and this week is giving away free Whoppers to Bronx residents to cheer them up.
Recognizable: Tourists have flooded a staircase connecting two avenues in the Bronx since Joaquin Phoenix’s character in Joker danced down them
Sorry: Now Burger King is giving away free Whoppers to Bronx residents to make it up to them
The promotion is running through January 12, and the chain says it’s to ‘put a happy face’ on Bronx residents who have been tolerating an influx of annoying tourists for months.
In a new video released on Monday, dozens of tourists are seen posing on the staircase, some wearing clown noses and wigs.
‘We know clowns can be annoying,’ the ad reads.
‘But don’t worry. If you live in the Bronx, use the code “KINGSTAIRS” on Uber Eats to get a free Whopper.’
Say cheese! In a new ad, Burger King shows a bunch of people posing on the stairs in costume
‘We know clowns can be annoying,’ the ad reads
It concludes: ‘But don’t worry. If you live in the Bronx, use the code “KINGSTAIRS” on Uber Eats to get a free Whopper’
The steps, which are located just a short walk, from Yankee Stadium, didn’t usually make it on to tourists’ to-do lists before the movie.
But quickly after its release, some New Yorkers and out-of-towners began traveling there to gawk, take selfies, and dance.
A few locals see at as a good sign.
‘It’s good for us. You know, publicity,’ said Jose Cruz, a longtime resident who climbs the 131 steps at West 167th Street daily. ‘People don’t have to be scared of the Bronx no more, the way they used to.’
But others have been annoyed and frustrated.
‘We live in the neighborhood, it’s taking up all of our time, we’re all being inconvenienced,’ Bronx resident Cathyrine Spencer told the AP. ‘Every day when I come down the stairs, I have to go through a barrage of people.’
Hot spot: Tourists have flocked to the staircase, much to the annoyance of locals
Busy: The steps have become crowded with people trying to capture the perfect shot
Going all out: A few have worn special costumes for their photos, while others have simply does the perfect Joker-style pose
Copycats: Many have captured themselves performing the same dance that the Joker does
Stay away: Street photographer Tiffthevisionary1 sharef an image of the street graffiti that had been sprayed as a message for the ‘Joker Stairs’
In late October, street photographer Tiffthevisionary1 took to Instagram to share an image of the street graffiti that had been sprayed on one of the buildings next to the steps located on Shakespeare Avenue.
‘My poverty is not your photo shoot,’ the irate message read in red spray paint. Another scrawling told tourists to ‘go home’.
And Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents part of east Bronx and was born in the borough, wants people to stay away, too.
‘I think the way a lot of us feel is: keep your Instagram posts out of the Boogie Down,’ she said.
And she later told TMZ: ‘When I was growing up everyone would tell us to stay away from those steps or go with a friend.’
When asked why it was a place to be avoided she said: ‘You know, you go there at night… whatever the Bronx is much safer now.’