Notorious serial killer Ted Bundy apparently got away with it for so long because of white privilege, according to actor Zac Efron, who plays Bundy in the new film, “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.”
Speaking with Fox News at the Tribeca Film Festival, Efron shared some of his ideas as to how Ted Bundy was able to pull off so many murders for so many years — he confessed to killing 30 women and is suspected to have killed many more.
“Ted Bundy is a vile, vile human being. There is no part of this at all … I can’t express how much I loathe the man that this movie is about,” he said. “The fact is that this movie really happened. The fact is that the whole world, literally, all the media, everybody, was capable of believing that this guy was innocent. Talk about white privilege, talk about white … whatever. Every major topic in this movie is bent on showing you how evil this person is.”
Efron was largely responding to the film’s critics who felt that it portrayed Ted Bundy as some kind of charming rock star.
“When you see the movie, if you don’t think that either me or Ted Bundy is the biggest piece of s*** in the world and don’t want to be like him, then something’s wrong,” he said.
As noted by Fox News, Efron made a similar statement about Ted Bundy in an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show.
“Ted Bundy was a clean-cut white dude who just did not seem ‘white person.’ So, talk about white privilege,” Efron said. “What he got away with back then, nobody would be able to do today. It’s a moment in time that came and passed and it’s truly scary, but it does not glamorize the killing. This is an important thing for me.”
Zac Efron is not the first person to say that Ted Bundy was a benefactor of white privilege. When Netflix released the “Ted Bundy Tapes,” Refinery 29 claimed that America’s obsession with whiteness made his personality bigger than it actually was:
The Ted Bundy of America’s consciousness is a myth. Bundy was not special, he was not smarter than the average person; he did not have a personality so alluring that his female victims could not help but simply go off with him. He did not have a superhuman skill to be one step ahead of the police. What Bundy did have was the power of being a white man in a society that reveres them and has implicit faith in their abilities. This privilege gave Bundy the ability to make even the most heinous of crimes take second place to his personality. Bundy isn’t even exceptional when compared to other American serial killers. So why is his legacy treated with fascination and twisted admiration rather than condemnation?
“Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile” holds a 59% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with many reviewers praising Efron’s performance while saying the film nonetheless packs a small punch overall.