Jim Carrey Responds to 'Sonic' Backlash: "Ownership of Anything Is Going Out the Window"

Jim Carrey Sonic the Hedgehog - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures and Sega of America
The Paramount video game adaptation, in which the actor plays the villain, was delayed after a fan outcry.

Jim Carrey is speaking out for the first time about backlash over his upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog movie.

The film was delayed by three months after the first trailer was widely mocked on social media over the character design of Sonic, the popular Sega video game character being voiced by Ben Schwartz. In March, Sonic the Hedgehog director Jeff Fowler said the Paramount film would now open Feb. 14, 2020 while the team retooled the character's look. Carrey plays the villain Robotnik in the film.

Speaking at TCA panel for his Showtime series Kidding, Carrey questioned the notion of the audience being able to weigh in (and force change) while a project is still in production, acknowledging fans "had the sense of ownership" of the character because it is from their childhood. 

"Sometimes, you find the collective consciousness finds it wants something and then when it gets it: 'I just wanted it, I didn't care about it. I just jumped on the bandwagon,'" Carrey said. "Ownership of anything is going out the window for all of us."

The film's director in March tweeted, "Taking a little more time to make Sonic just right" after the social media mob bombarded the trailer with venom. "The message is loud and clear ... you aren't happy with the design & you want changes. It's going to happen. Everyone at Paramount & Sega are fully committed to making this character the BEST he can be... #sonicmovie #gottafixfast."

Carrey also addressed the concerning Deepfake technology, which allows for existing content to be superimposed with other images or audio. Government officials have serious concerns about the technology being used as another form of misinformation.  One of the most famous instances involves a superimposed Carrey over Jack Nicholson in The Shining. The result was so well done that it was shocking.

"What's next? Who knows," Carrey said of Deepfakes. "Just like everything else in our world, we're feeling out of control with the process."

Added Carrey, "We do what we do and technology will have its way. Who knows what that's going to turn into. I believe in auteurs and creators and having them do it."