Why Hollywood’s Latest Anti-Gun Push Makes Little Sense

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Hollywood is gunning for guns. Again.

The industry routinely pushes for new gun control measures. Films like “Miss Sloane” are part of a larger effort toward that end, using pop culture’s bully pulpit to advance its messaging.

TV shows are far more confrontational on the subject, and they aren’t acting alone. Groups like Everytown for Gun Safety work hand in glove with screenwriters to push gun control narratives on your favorite programs.

This time, the Hollywood messaging machine is looking internally.

A group of actors and creators gathered at, of all places, the White House earlier this week to demand studios reduce the amount of gun violence we see on screen.

Adam Brody and Piper Perabo pitched the anti-gun message at a place where no films or TV shows are filmed. 

The effort, part of the Brady’s “Show Your Safety” campaign, demanded the industry show restraint when it comes to on-screen gunplay.

“Movies and television shape our culture very much and that is reflected back to us…I’m all for any version of elevated conversation and consciousness when it comes to the depiction of guns or lack thereof.”

Adam Brody

The group wants films to take greater care, for example, displaying gun safety measures happening on the home front. It’s hard to see how such scenes could organically be woven into stories, but it’s not the worst idea out of Hollywood.

The idea that films and TV shows will dramatically reduce gun violence is, on the other hand, farcical. And it’s not the first time it’s been introduced.

That messaging is a repeat of similar efforts that went nowhere fast.

Hollywood Has Tried This Before

Amy Schumer reduced the number of guns shown in her 2017 flop “Snatched,” hoping to send a powerful message to her peers. 

It didn’t.

That came after a Hollywood heavyweight vowed to do something about on-screen gun use once and for all.

,The idea that Hollywood and its films and TV shows will dramatically reduce gun violence is nothing more than wishful thinking , Ampel und Straßenschild Hollywood. Photo c/o Getty: Ampel und Straßenschild Hollywood

Remember Harvey Weinstein? The disgraced movie mogul once pitched a violent movie summit to his fellow industry stars. His comments came after the 2012 Aurora theater shooting in Colorado that left 12 people dead.

“I think as filmmakers we should sit down — the Marty Scorseses, the Quentin Tarantinos and hopefully all of us who deal in violence in movies — and discuss our role in that.”

Harvey Weinstein

Suffice to say that summit never happened and Weinstein did more than drop the subject. He continued to produce ultra-violent movies with director Quentin Tarantino up until his ouster from Hollywood over sexual assault allegations.

Any thoughts he may have on the subject today can only be shared with his cell mates.

The various stars could still make a difference when it comes to gun violence. They could shine a light on the raging gunplay in Chicago, for example, forcing the media to cover the nightmarish situation and shame local politicians into taking action, at last, to address the problem.

Director Spike Lee tried to do just that with his 2015 film “Chi-Raq,” but it wasn’t enough.

It also might help if stars pushed back against the wave of “soft-on-crime” district attorneys turning major U.S. cities into shooting zones. Or just stop funneling money to groups that bail out violent protesters.

Last year, podcaster Joe Rogan blasted Hollywood for its gun control messaging.

“Isn’t it f**king wild that Hollywood in general is very anti-gun, but they promote guns more than any other media on the planet?”

Joe Rogan

A final note: “John Wick: Chapter 4,” a franchise teeming with extreme gun violence, has made $170 million to date in the U.S. and the studio behind the film promise both another sequel, a spinoff feature (“Ballerina”) and a prequel TV show (“The Continental.)

Written by Christian Toto

Christian Toto is an award-winning film critic, journalist and founder of HollywoodInToto.com, the Right Take on Entertainment. He’s the author of “Virtue Bombs: How Hollywood Got Woke and Lost Its Soul” and a lifelong Yankees fan. Toto lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife, two sons and too many chickens.

Follow Christian on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HollywoodInToto

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