Back in 2005, just when director Tim Burton was preparing a new film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, a satirical website called Say No To Grandpa Joe appeared to voice contempt and disgust with one of the major characters in the story: supposedly lovable, irascible Grandpa Joe. As portrayed by Jack Albertson in Mel Stuart’s 1971 film Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory, the haters attest, Joe is a dishonest, sleazy, lazy freeloader who spends years in bed, letting his poor laundress daughter wait on him hand and foot, then springs to life the moment there’s something fun for him to do. What a selfish creep. And think of his signature song: “I’ve Got A Golden Ticket.” He doesn’t even say “we”—it has to be all about him. The Say No site amassed so much evidence against the character that it was divided into three major categories: “Ratbag,” “Industrial Spy,” and “Bastard.” Funny as it was, the anti-Grandpa Joe movement might have been viewed at the time as a gimmicky internet stunt timed to coincide with the release of a major motion picture. But, as detailed by Miles Klee at The Daily Dot, something strange happened: The Grandpa Joe hatred didn’t fade away or die down. Instead, it blossomed and took on other forms.
To this day, Klee points out, the Say No To Grandpa Joe site still stands, meaning that “someone is still paying to host it.” Meanwhile, a thriving Facebook community has arisen under the heading of “The I Hate Grandpa Joe From Willy Wonka And Chocolate Factory Page.” Here, community members can exchange various anti-Joe memes they’ve created, like a picture of Albertson dancing around the Bucket family hovel with the sarcastic legend “HE IS RISEN.” Others mockingly depict him as various famous characters, like Uncle Sam or Tony Montana.
The Grandpa Joe hate has spilled over onto Twitter as well. In addition to various individual tweets deriding the character, there is now a parody account for Joseph Bucket under the handle @RealAssholeGJ. A typical pronouncement there adds cannibalism to the list of unpleasant traits possessed by Grandpa Joe: