As part of the #IAmNotYourVillain campaign, the British Film Institute has announced it will not be funding any movies with facially-scarred villains.
The campaign was started by Changing Faces, a UK-based charity group that has made it their mission to de-stigmatize facial scars in film and television. Scarring has often used to show how messed-up a villain is, like The Joker in "The Dark Knight" or Darth Vader in "Star Wars." (Notable exception: Deadpool. Who is messed up in his own way, but not a villain.)
"Film is a catalyst for change and that is why we are committing to not having negative representations depicted through scars or facial difference in the films we fund," BFI Deputy CEO Ben Roberts said in a statement. He urged the rest of the film industry to support the #IAmNotYourVillain campaign.
Becky Hewitt, Changing Faces’ chief executive, said, "The film industry has such power to influence the public with its representation of diversity, and yet films use scars and looking different as a shorthand for villainy far too often."
As part of the effort to make films where scars aren't equated with villainy, BFI is funding "Dirty God," which stars Vicky Knight as a burn survivor reentering society after an acid attack. The drama from Dutch director Sacha Polak is set to premiere at Sundance in January.
Fans of the "Mortal Engines" books, in which the heroine is seriously disfigured in a brutal attack, have objected to the toning down of the character's look in the upcoming film, arguing that disfigured characters (such as Doctor Poison in "Wonder Woman") are too often portrayed as evil.