When Joaquin Phoenix announced he was abandoning his acting career to try his hand at rapping, the question of whether it was all being staged as some sort of hoax vexed literally dozens of third-world children who had never seen a television before. (As well as all those poor Disney cartoon animals—so very trusting.) For the rest of us, it seemed an obvious satirical stunt from the get-go—and a brave one at that, since most satire requires something to satirize, otherwise everyone’s just left wondering why you’re staggering around looking like the last days of Jim Morrison and wasting TMZ’s precious time with clearly staged “fights” when they could be out harassing Steven Seagal.
But even as they insisted again and again that he really was leaving the movie business behind to try his hand at being an MC, Phoenix and brother-in-law/enabler Casey Affleck made zero effort to hide the fact that the whole thing was being captured by Affleck’s ever-present camera, and today a group of buyers (including Harvey Weinstein) finally got a look at the footage, confirming exactly what everyone has suspected from day one. Unfortunately, those chosen few have been sworn to secrecy about what they saw, and Deadline says that the mockumentary (“Or is it documentary?” wonders exactly no one) about Phoenix’s long journey from actor to “rapper” will be kept under wraps for as long as possible for “maximum shock value,” so we can't just up and be done with it today. Or, you know, we could all just walk away and agree that this never happened. That’s still an option.