Uproar Over Knott’s Scary Farm’s “FearVR:5150” Exhibit Is Ridiculous

Chalk up another victory for the dictatorship of political correctness.

Yesterday, Knotts Berry Farm capitulated to a pressure campaign by mental health “advocates” and the charlatan Ron Thomas.  Their PC outrage was focused on a Knott’s Scary Farm experience called FearVR: 5150, set in a scary mental institution.  Apparently, making use of a classic and well-worn horror trope has been added to the ever-growing list of verboten topics kept by the politically correct sensors. What’s next? A boycott campaign against the FX network if it doesn’t destroy all copies of Season 2 of American Horror Story, which is set – you guessed it – in a scary mental institution. As are innumerable horror movies.

Does anyone in their right mind believe that any rational person’s opinions about mental illness or the mentally ill are shaped by horror movies? That Halloween attractions like “FearVR: 5150” “perpetuate the social stigma of mental illness”? Really? Honestly? The only madness in evidence is the politically correct mau-mauing of a private business by these advocates and publicity-seeker Ron Thomas.

Will the National Alliance on Mental Illness direct its ire at any politician or campaign that describes an opponent’s policies as “crazy” or “insane”? Should we also proscribe that related horror story trope, the Scary Decrepit Hospital, as stigmatizing the ill and diseased? How about the Summer Camp Slasher trope? Freddy Kruger responds to being horribly disfigured in a fire by carving up teenagers; Does the Nightmare On Elm Street film franchise stigmatize burn victims and other victims of disfigurement or lead the general public to believe the disfigured are potential psychopathic murderers?

Come on. Enough is enough.

The Voice of OC‘s considers it mission to be “holding the powerful accountable.” And in this instance, it volunteered itself as a blackjack for bludgeoning Knott’s Berry Farm into submission. So who are really “the powerful” in this scenario? It certainly wasn’t Knott’s, which folded like a cheap suit. The worst sin a business can commit is insensitivity to whatever it is the PC taste-makers have have added to the the catalog of unmentionables. The “powerful” in this episode were the mental health advocates. It’s ironic that a media outlet was a willing accomplice in silencing free expression. Meanwhile, your average, workaday citizen out here in the real world shakes his or her head and at some level understands that our liberty to think and speak our minds crumpled a little bit more under this relentless, censorious assault.


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