We Have Something To Say.

For thousands of years, we sharks and you humans lived peacefully together. With you on the land and us in the sea, we managed to coexist in a way that benefitted us both. Times were good. We like the humans. Well, all except one:

Spielberg. We don’t like Steven Spielberg.

Jaws started the negative depiction of the shark community in horror films in 1975. That opening sequence of a shark looking at the legs of an innocent swimmer scares people to this day. That, alongside John Williams’ terrifying two-note score actually resulted in a decrease of beach visits across America in the summer of 1975. The film actually stopped people from people entering our sea – much like how Hitchcock caused shower anxiety after THAT scene in Psycho.

We find this to be an unfair and prejudiced misrepresentation of our community. Furthermore, the increased development of sequels and other shark spin-off films such as Deep Blue Sea and the Sharknado franchise have instilled a stronger fear of us. We find this offensive and derogatory. Let’s share some fun facts about sharks:

  • We date back to almost 420 million years ago, with over 500 species
  • We can be found in most oceans and all seas around the world
  • We can live up to 100 years
  • In 2013, sharks accidently injured 13 Americans. In the same year, toilets injured 43,000 Americans.
  • For every human killed by a shark, humans kill approximately two million sharks.

Once upon a time, we were a calm and undisturbed community. We held annual meetings at the Foundation of International Shark Headquarters (F.I.S.H) to discuss social and environmental ideas to contribute to a brighter future for our offspring. Now, it has been taken up by the fears of you.

It has been announced today that Louis Leterrier (Now You See Me) will direct a NEW shark film with a script bought by Sony titled In The Deep. The story is about a girl who gets stranded on a buoy during a swim and must face off against a, you guessed it, shark to get back to shore.

We are not surprised by this news. It has become a sad truth, universally acknowledged, that a shark in the vicinity of a damsel, must be in want of her blood.

May we suggest an exciting and interesting twist on this water-horror genre? We, as Sharks, have always been skeptical of Seahorses. Check this out: they can be small or large, fast or slow, peaceful or abusive. They’re the perfect fish to replace us in the restructure of your horror films.

I, and all of F.I.S.H, hope this letter finds you well and that you reconsider the representation of Sharks in modern cinema.


Shawn Sharkon



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About The Author

English Journalist and Filmmaker who moved to New York, as I don't play soccer or drink tea. Sometimes I say funny or interesting things on Twitter, at @JamesSpiro.