The rape problem with Joker

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#1 Edited by VampireSelektor (749 posts) - - Show Bio

Why do people have a problem with Joker committing sexual acts of violence? What is it that makes people accept Joker as a murderer of children but not a rapist or molester? OK, people are just digesting the notion that Joker might have raped Barbara Gordon in "The Killing Joke", but Joker is still miles away from playing sexual predator. I'm not clamoring for 100 years of Joker rape stories at all. But I happen to agree with Snyder on this one. Joker is an agent of ultimate evil, and should be capable of any depraved act that creates discord among humans. I feel as if when people remove rape from Joker's M.O., they're hinting at their own discomfort rather than making a statement on the character.

Thoughts?

EDIT: I'll post the rebuttals from

"1. There has never been an instance in mainstram comics where he did that. The only 2 examples I know of are in 'The Dark Knight Returns (set in the future) and 'The Joker' a very alternate version where he is wearing make up like Heath Ledger, but is even more brutal. So those opposed to the idea are not 'removing it' from his M.O. Others are forcing it in, despite 70 years of it just not being part of the character's behavior.

2. The Joker is perhaps the most enjoyed comics villan in history, and perhaps all of entertainment. Yes, he is a murderer, and yes it weird that fans still enjoy him despite that, but that's how we as a society are. Sometime we like a bad guy who is smart, funny, or just plain cool. If you make him a rapist, we either have to accept that and still love him, or we have to stop loving him. Either way sucks. Either way the idea is outrageous, Why do that to a character that really is enjoyed by so many just the way he is? He never needed to be a rapist to be the ultimare bad-guy, Batman's true nemisis. This would mess with my enjoyment of comics overall and the Joker in particular. I can't be a fan of a rapist. I would be angry with anyone else who is. I read comics for entertainment, and yes, it can be violent entertainment, but rape is not in any form entertaining. This is why Snyder scares me a little. He says the Joker is his favvorite villan of all time. Make him rape somebody and then say that.

After 70 years and much of it on saturday morning cartoons, the Joker is EVREWHERE. 5-year-olds dress up like him for Halloween. Cosplayers. Video gamers. I have a children's book about Harley and the Joker on my nightstand. Bad enough for long-time fans of the Joker, imagime what it would be like for real life victims of rape if this celebrated character became a rapist. Not everyone would know. There would still be 5-year olds at Halloween dressed like him.

Maybe we tolerate him as a murderer becuase he is so far from real life crimes. Purplesuit, laughing gas, green hair, eternally escaping justice. Sorry, rape is far too real and too common.

I'd hope there would be a massive outcry. Snyder might loose his job, the story be cancelled. And I'd agree with that. It would be a step towards dragging society further into acceptance of abuse, with the odd twist that we would mostly be aware of it."

I do disagree on one point, though. Is the Joker who murdered a room full of executives for not trademarking "Laughing Fish" less brutal than Heath Ledger's agent of chaos?

I'll also add this: I do with agree with Snyder in the sense that Joker will do anything creatively rewarding in the pursuit of evil. Anything. But rape is hard to justify as a creatively rewarding plot device, especially for a meta-aware like Joker. Irréversible, a French film, succeeds on doing just that. David Lynch's Blue Velvet and the work of Suehiro Maruo also succeed on this feat, but it's an uncommon one. And I hadn't stop to consider that "less is more" might be better for general audiences. I don't mean water down the character, but keep aspects about the character shrouded in mystery rather than defining what he does and does not do. Rape has never been in the mainstream Joker's M.O., but it's a mistake to say he's incapable. Still, one must consider the audiences who could not handle their favorite character as a rapist. Again, the Alice Cooper rule: "Don't show 'em everything, or you'll give it all away".

Note: made another edit to the OP

#2 Posted by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm sorry, but did I miss something? When did Joker ever rape anyone?

I never got the impression that he raped Barbra in The Killing Joke... am I just naive?

#3 Posted by joshmightbe (25002 posts) - - Show Bio

@Gambit1024: I've read the Killing Joke several times and nowhere in there did Joker rape Barbara, he shot her and left that was it.

#4 Posted by FrankenKong (234 posts) - - Show Bio

I honestly dont think The Joker actually raped Barbara. I believe he just photographed her as such to make Jim Gordon believe he did. The Joker is all around evil but I do believe he does have some kind of code/honor system and I don't rape would not be a part of it. I back this theory due to the death of Barbaras mother. The Joker took no pleasure in the act of killing her. It would have been easy for him to laugh and smile at her actions that got her killed but he didnt. This is one moment in The Jokers history that I believe there still might be the tiniest of something there. This of course is all pre-52 so we still need to see the course of events of Death of The Family through first.

#5 Posted by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

@joshmightbe: Well he also took those naked pictures of her. I doubt that he raped her, but I wouldn't be shocked if they said that he did.

#6 Posted by cameron83 (7614 posts) - - Show Bio

@FrankenKong: Nope,he has no honor or code at all.But he does stick to his own plan,and having sex/raping someone (other than harley,ew) is not anywhere in the plan and he sees no gain in it

#7 Posted by Cap10nate (2643 posts) - - Show Bio

My guess is that since these books are mostly read by teens and young adults, they are trying to keep rape out of it. Murder is something that can be done in clever ways like laughing gas that makes everybody smile or other ways that aren't that graphic. There is only one way to do rape and it isn't appropriate for a book that does not carry a mature imprint.

Online
#8 Posted by cameron83 (7614 posts) - - Show Bio

@Cap10nate: didn't nightwing get raped

#9 Posted by VampireSelektor (749 posts) - - Show Bio

@Cap10nate said:

My guess is that since these books are mostly read by teens and young adults, they are trying to keep rape out of it. Murder is something that can be done in clever ways like laughing gas that makes everybody smile or other ways that aren't that graphic. There is only one way to do rape and it isn't appropriate for a book that does not carry a mature imprint.

I agree.

#10 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29510 posts) - - Show Bio

The Joker could rape a nun and then put a gun to that nun's head and force her to anally violate a newborn baby with a crucifix and he'd record it and keep it on his person and laugh at it every Tuesday.

The Joker doesn't give a f**k.

It's the readers that do.

#11 Posted by cameron83 (7614 posts) - - Show Bio

@InnerVenom123 said:

The Joker could rape a nun and then put a gun to that nun's head and force her to anally violate a newborn baby with a crucifix and he'd record it and keep it on his person and laugh at it every Tuesday.

The Joker doesn't give a f**k.

It's the readers that do.

#12 Posted by cameron83 (7614 posts) - - Show Bio

@InnerVenom123: um,is everything okay,InnerVenom123?

#13 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29510 posts) - - Show Bio

@cameron83: Just making an example.

That's tame for me, by the way.

#14 Posted by Video_Martian (5645 posts) - - Show Bio

@InnerVenom123 said:

The Joker doesn't give a f**k.

It's the readers that do.

Totally agree.

#15 Posted by cameron83 (7614 posts) - - Show Bio

@InnerVenom123: !!!??!

#16 Edited by VampireSelektor (749 posts) - - Show Bio

@mr.obvious said:

@InnerVenom123 said:

The Joker doesn't give a f**k.

It's the readers that do.

Totally agree.

I agree with this too.

@cameron83: @Gambit1024: @joshmightbe: @Cap10nate said:

My guess is that since these books are mostly read by teens and young adults, they are trying to keep rape out of it. Murder is something that can be done in clever ways like laughing gas that makes everybody smile or other ways that aren't that graphic. There is only one way to do rape and it isn't appropriate for a book that does not carry a mature imprint.

Cap10nate makes a great point here. People forget that Joker raped a woman in Azzarello's "Joker" mature one-shot. From an editorial standpoint, the only obstacle towards Joker bashing Stephanie Brown over the head, getting her pregnant, beating her, and throwing her through Tim's window with a note that says "Glad to see your girlfriend's alive! - J.R." is the graphic nature of the crime in a comic read by young teens. What's funny is that Azzarello's "Joker" is nowhere near as graphic as the scenario I listed above. Subtlety played a factor there.

#17 Posted by joshmightbe (25002 posts) - - Show Bio

@Gambit1024: Alan Moore wrote it so if he had actually raped her he'd have probably done more than just imply it

#18 Posted by turoksonofstone (13200 posts) - - Show Bio

??? yikes..

#19 Posted by VampireSelektor (749 posts) - - Show Bio

@joshmightbe said:

@Gambit1024: Alan Moore wrote it so if he had actually raped her he'd have probably done more than just imply it

I think showing up at Barbara's door out of the blue, shooting her in the stomach, taking her off her clothes, and then torturing Jim with blown-up photos of his naked, wounded daughter was more powerful than simply depicting a rape. The whole point was to let Jim know that he violated his daughter, and the rest is left to the audience. Again, in Azzarello's one-shot, there are three panels of Joker getting out of the backseat of a convertible, buckling his pants, and asking Croc to pay a woman sitting cross-legged, silently consoling herself, for "whatever it was worth". Subtlety.

#20 Posted by joshmightbe (25002 posts) - - Show Bio

@VampireSelektor: I'm not saying that rape is beyond Joker just saying it didn't happen in the killing Joke. The naked pictures were more a way to show Gordon how vulnerable she was.

#21 Posted by cuddles666 (310 posts) - - Show Bio

I blame the feminists.

#22 Posted by jrock85 (2874 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't need any rape in my comics.

#23 Posted by Bruxae (14008 posts) - - Show Bio

I think its crap that Joker has a code of honor, he most definetly do NOT. However, ive just not ever seen him as a horny person, simple as that.. Why would someone who only cares about chaos systematically rape people?

Id not object, I just dont think its his style, and as such quite unneccessary to expose teenage comic readers to it.. Train has already left on murder.

#24 Posted by Omega Ray Jay (7948 posts) - - Show Bio

There are different kinds of psychopaths and it just doesn't fit the Jokers MO

#25 Posted by The_jackolantern (445 posts) - - Show Bio

I just don't see joker raping anyone and I'm not saying he isn't capable of it just I don't think it's causing enough pain for the jokers.

#26 Posted by VampireSelektor (749 posts) - - Show Bio

@Bruxae said:

I think its crap that Joker has a code of honor, he most definetly do NOT. However, ive just not ever seen him as a horny person, simple as that.. Why would someone who only cares about chaos systematically rape people?

Id not object, I just dont think its his style, and as such quite unneccessary to expose teenage comic readers to it.. Train has already left on murder.

It's not about horniness, it's about power. Remember the scene in "The Dark Knight" where Joker tells the cop why he kills with a knife? How killing with a knife means savoring the details and getting to the "real" person in their final moments, and using that admission to take advantage of the cop and escape? I've always thought rape was just as much, if not more, about power than lust. Joker got the best of the cop by striking him intimately, just like he struck Gordon by shooting his daughter and photographing her naked. He's even doing it now in "Death of the Family", using what he knows about the heroes (e.g. where Gordon keeps his cigarettes, the relative softness of Batman's current condition, knowing where the Batcave is to strike Alfred) to get the best of them. Imagine what Joker will do or say to Jason or Barbara or Dick later in the arc.

#27 Posted by Z3RO180 (6668 posts) - - Show Bio

ok im confused

#28 Posted by VampireSelektor (749 posts) - - Show Bio

@joshmightbe said:

@VampireSelektor: I'm not saying that rape is beyond Joker just saying it didn't happen in the killing Joke. The naked pictures were more a way to show Gordon how vulnerable she was.

It was never explicitly shown on panel, but it has been implied before. Again, the "less is more" approach worked best in "The Killing Joke" instead of something more extended or graphic. Joker didn't have to do much more than show Gordon the pictures and leave the rest for him to fret over.

#29 Posted by Pwok21 (2459 posts) - - Show Bio

He refused to work with Red Skull as even evil has standards.

That said, I not sure if rape is outside that code-ish thing.

#30 Posted by VampireSelektor (749 posts) - - Show Bio

@Pwok21: Hahaha, I remember reading about that. Joker picked a funny time to stick up for America. I suspect that his feelings were limited to that particular day/comics, though.

#31 Posted by VampireSelektor (749 posts) - - Show Bio

@Omega Ray Jay: Joker doesn't have an M.O. except reinventing himself.

#32 Posted by Rumble Man (11118 posts) - - Show Bio
#33 Posted by VampireSelektor (749 posts) - - Show Bio

@Rumble Man said:

@VampireSelektor:

he only did that in an alternate continuity

did not count

I disagree. Azzarello's "Joker" rings true to the character, just like how Morrison's Joker and O'Neal's Joker are the same person.

#34 Posted by Rumble Man (11118 posts) - - Show Bio

@VampireSelektor: that moment was an outlier, I always prefer the campy looney crazy tricks version rather than the down to earth 'real crime' version

#35 Posted by tahmidk (283 posts) - - Show Bio

i wonder how readers would react if he raped alfred, damian or barbara in the death of the family, i think it would be gud.

#36 Edited by Dernman (15430 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't see him doing it personally but I could see him having his henchmen do it while he laughs and talks his joker talk. 
 
Truthfully though I see Mad Hatter as more of the rapist.

#37 Posted by Delphic (1527 posts) - - Show Bio

I have an even better question. Why does it even matter? We know the Joker is evil, why do we need to see him or even think about him raping someone? Isn't what he already does enough?

#38 Posted by joshmightbe (25002 posts) - - Show Bio

@VampireSelektor: I'm just saying as much as I like Alan Moore as a writer when it comes to sexual things the guy has all the subtlety of a train crash which makes me think if he meant for Joker to rape her we all would have known it for sure

#39 Posted by Onemoreposter (4086 posts) - - Show Bio

@FrankenKong said:

I honestly dont think The Joker actually raped Barbara. I believe he just photographed her as such to make Jim Gordon believe he did. The Joker is all around evil but I do believe he does have some kind of code/honor system and I don't rape would not be a part of it. I back this theory due to the death of Barbaras mother. The Joker took no pleasure in the act of killing her. It would have been easy for him to laugh and smile at her actions that got her killed but he didnt. This is one moment in The Jokers history that I believe there still might be the tiniest of something there. This of course is all pre-52 so we still need to see the course of events of Death of The Family through first.

If your talking about when Joker Murdered Sarah Essen at the end of NML, that isn't Barbara's mother. It's the woman Jim cheated on Barbara's mother with and later married.

I think he's not smiling because he's not happy with the turn of events, not because he felt any sort of remorse over Sarah's death. He knows the games up and had no fun playing with his opponent.

#40 Posted by VampireSelektor (749 posts) - - Show Bio

@Rumble Man said:

@VampireSelektor: that moment was an outlier, I always prefer the campy looney crazy tricks version rather than the down to earth 'real crime' version

I can respect that.

#41 Posted by VampireSelektor (749 posts) - - Show Bio

@Delphic said:

I have an even better question. Why does it even matter? We know the Joker is evil, why do we need to see him or even think about him raping someone? Isn't what he already does enough?

It matters because there a number of people who attribute a code to Joker that prevents him from committing sexual crimes on ComicVine and other sites. I disagree with this notion and brought it up on the forum for discussion. If Joker is chaos, he should have no restrictions.

#42 Posted by Delphic (1527 posts) - - Show Bio

@VampireSelektor said:

@Delphic said:

I have an even better question. Why does it even matter? We know the Joker is evil, why do we need to see him or even think about him raping someone? Isn't what he already does enough?

It matters because there a number of people who attribute a code to Joker that prevents him from committing sexual crimes on ComicVine and other sites. I disagree with this notion and brought it up on the forum for discussion. If Joker is chaos, he should have no restrictions.

The thing is that most of us know that. My point is do people really have to see something like that? Having to see something like that is really senseless to me. I'm not saying "rape" is something that should be ignored, but is it really necessary for us to see the Joker do it?

#43 Posted by VampireSelektor (749 posts) - - Show Bio

@Delphic said:

@VampireSelektor said:

@Delphic said:

I have an even better question. Why does it even matter? We know the Joker is evil, why do we need to see him or even think about him raping someone? Isn't what he already does enough?

It matters because there a number of people who attribute a code to Joker that prevents him from committing sexual crimes on ComicVine and other sites. I disagree with this notion and brought it up on the forum for discussion. If Joker is chaos, he should have no restrictions.

The thing is that most of us know that. My point is do people really have to see something like that? Having to see something like that is really senseless to me. I'm not saying "rape" is something that should be ignored, but is it really necessary for us to see the Joker do it?

Do people have to see Joker commit rape on panel? No. I never made such a request in the OP. But I disagree - most people dismiss this from Joker's nature.

#44 Edited by BlackWind (7016 posts) - - Show Bio

@FrankenKong: I agree. Joker doesn't find rape, kicking a dumb animal, or racism to be funny, and the funny is what he's all about. That would be too cheap and easy for him. His crimes are a testament to his twisted sense of comedy, and something as obvious as rape has no substance or meaning to him.

#45 Posted by Black_Claw (3042 posts) - - Show Bio

I think Joker is capable of raping somebody, but I think he just finds murder more fun than rape.

#46 Posted by VampireSelektor (749 posts) - - Show Bio

@joshmightbe said:

@VampireSelektor: I'm just saying as much as I like Alan Moore as a writer when it comes to sexual things the guy has all the subtlety of a train crash which makes me think if he meant for Joker to rape her we all would have known it for sure

Perhaps Joker admitting to a rape would have overwhelmed the plot and theme of "The Killing Joke".

#47 Edited by TheJokerha (161 posts) - - Show Bio

Several reasons:

Before I get started, Brian Azzello's Joker and the universe he inhabits are not the main stream and not the Joker of the new 52. Whether he raped any one isn't relevant to the current main world version.

From a real world marketing stand point it would be disastrous. There are a lot of versions of Joker all over lots of media. Some of it very kid friendly. Is it weird that in one version he is a killer, but in other kid friendly versions he is more of a prankster and can be on a lunch box? Yes.Is it weirder that having any of the version as a rapist or child molester would make him untouchable and not able to be used in those genres? Yes.

But the weirdness doesn't change the fact that its the way things are. Darth Vadar, Dracula, Joker, there are serious versions of them and kid's cereal versions. It's all down to marketing to as many sub groups as possible.You won't see kid's DC t shirts with Dr. Light on them. (thank God) . I don't remember if Dr. Light ever showed up on Teen Titans Cartoon before DC made Light a rapist child molester. But I seriously doubt he will be on Young Justice for just that reason. I once saw a young readers series of "Choose your own adventures" books starring a grade school age yet already a nightmare monster Freddy Krueger. No Kidding. I asked my girlfriend "They know he's a murderous child molester, right?" She answered "Hey, if it can get a kid to read a book I'm all for it." But it surprised the hell out of me.

Secondly, there is an old troupe called Even Evil Has standards. As it was discussed in another forum here, The Joker really isn't the worst of the worst. There are others out there more evil and sadistic than he is. I don't think making him the worst is the goal. Just the most dangerous. He does draw the line at some things, and does it consistently. I'm not sure which issue, but I remember him saying once "I may be crazy, but never crude." The Joker isn't beast like.

But sometimes Joker does get written with the "Complete Monster" template. But I find him more interesting when he is unpredictable and may actually turn and help the heroes ( which he has done on numerous occasions) or just give up his long planned out scheme and go off on a tangent. After the initial shock has worn off, complete monsters get pretty damn boring. Eric Cartman cannot do anything that shocks me. "Can you believe what Cartman did on Southpark? ::shrug::" Yeah, it's Cartman.."

Having Joker as a rapist or child molester would be so...predictable, pedestrian and boring. Bad writing and cheap shock value lacking in creativity. In short: a cop out short cut excused by delusions of being "edgy and dark." He calls himself The Einstein of crime. An artist and a genius. Such common troglodyte crimes motivated by the baser sexual instincts are not worthy of him. Any thug or little punk can rape. Have you seen child molesters in the news? They tend to be from the knuckle dragging, mouth breathing, shallow end of the gene pool. The Joker is a higher standard class of criminal than that.

I'll let the Clown Prince of Crime explain it himself.

#48 Edited by VampireSelektor (749 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheJokerha said:

Several reasons:

Before I get started, Brian Azzello's Joker and the universe he inhabits are not the main stream and not the Joker of the new 52. Whether he raped any one isn't relevant to the current main world version.

From a real world marketing stand point it would be disastrous. There are a lot of versions of Joker all over lots of media. Some of it very kid friendly. Is it weird that in one version he is a killer, but in other kid friendly versions he is more of a prankster and can be on a lunch box? Yes.Is it weirder that having any of the version as a rapist or child molester would make him untouchable and not able to be used in those genres? Yes.

But the weirdness doesn't change the fact that its the way things are. Darth Vadar, Dracula, Joker, there are serious versions of them and kid's cereal versions. It's all down to marketing to as many sub groups as possible.You won't see kid's DC t shirts with Dr. Light on them. (thank God) . I don't remember if Dr. Light ever showed up on Teen Titans Cartoon before DC made Light a rapist child molester. But I seriously doubt he will be on Young Justice for just that reason. I once saw a young readers series of "Choose your own adventures" books starring a grade school age yet already a nightmare monster Freddy Krueger. No Kidding. I asked my girlfriend "They know he's a murderous child molester, right?" She answered "Hey, if it can get a kid to read a book I'm all for it." But it surprised the hell out of me.

Secondly, there is an old troupe called Even Evil Has standards. As it was discussed in another forum here, The Joker really isn't the worst of the worst. There are others out there more evil and sadistic than he is. I don't think making him the worst is the goal. Just the most dangerous. He does draw the line at some things, and does it consistently. I'm not sure which issue, but I remember him saying once "I may be crazy, but never crude." The Joker isn't beast like.

But sometimes Joker does get written with the "Complete Monster" template. But I find him more interesting when he is unpredictable and may actually turn and help the heroes ( which he has done on numerous occasions) or just give up his long planned out scheme and go off on a tangent. After the initial shock has worn off, complete monsters get pretty damn boring. Eric Cartman cannot do anything that shocks me. "Can you believe what Cartman did on Southpark? ::shrug::" Yeah, it's Cartman.."

Having Joker as a rapist or child molester would be so...predictable, pedestrian and boring. Bad writing and cheap shock value lacking in creativity. In short: a cop out short cut excused by delusions of being "edgy and dark." He calls himself The Einstein of crime. An artist and a genius. Such common troglodyte crimes motivated by the baser sexual instincts are not worthy of him. Any thug or little punk can rape. Have you seen child molesters in the news? They tend to be from the knuckle dragging, mouth breathing, shallow end of the gene pool. The Joker is a higher standard class of criminal than that.

I'll let the Clown Prince of Crime explain it himself.

1) I disagree. I feel, given the constant reinvention of Joker's personality, every interpretation rings true.

2) You're right, such a storyline in the mainstream would probably prove too controversial for DC or Time Warner.

3) As for your preferences, to each his own. I prefer the Morrison idea that Joker changes his personality often if not everyday, and has no fixed code save for when his place in the world is threatened or someone disrespects him (i.e Joker's allegiance with the Bat-Family in "Batman R.I.P." and "Batman and Robin" #1-16. )

4) Again, It's not about satisfying sexual urges, it's about power. Remember the scene in "The Dark Knight" where Joker tells the cop why he kills with a knife? How killing with a knife means savoring the details and getting to the "real" person in their final moments, and using that admission to take advantage of the cop and escape? I've always thought rape was just as much, if not more, about power than lust. Joker got the best of the cop by striking him intimately, just like he struck Gordon by shooting his daughter and photographing her naked. He's even doing it now in "Death of the Family", using what he knows about the heroes (e.g. where Gordon keeps his cigarettes, the relative softness of Batman's current condition, knowing where the Batcave is to strike Alfred) to get the best of them. Imagine what Joker will do or say to Jason or Barbara or Dick later in the arc.

5) Joker IS the worst. He has no material or monetary motivation, he just does what he does because he loves it. He's the most sadistic, random, evil villain in the DC. He's not a gentleman villain (most of the time). He's not Lupin III.

#49 Edited by TheJokerha (161 posts) - - Show Bio

UNREAL! I wrote out a huge response and comic vine ATE it! Damn it.

I'll try again later, right now I'm to angry at the loss of my work, lol.

But I do want to say its nice to discuss ideas and differences of opinion with someone who is obviously intelligent and knows the difference between opinion are valid. I'm also impressed you know who Lupine is.

#50 Edited by VampireSelektor (749 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheJokerha: I got your response privately. And thank you, this is a rewarding debate.

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