Hollywood stars including Amy Schumer and Julianne Moore released an open letter on Monday demanding that movies and TV shows lead by example when it comes to firearms. The text was written in response to the massacre of 19 school children in Texas at the end of May.
He is also signed by famous producers like JJ Abrams (‘Lost’), Shonda Rhimes (‘Bridgerton’) and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy.
‘Cultural attitudes about smoking, drinking and driving, seatbelt use and marriage equality have all evolved in part through the influence of movies and television. It’s time to start with the dangers of firearms’, says this letter distributed by the Brady Campaign, an association calling for stricter regulation of firearms in the United States.
‘We’re not asking everyone to stop showing guns on screen. We call on screenwriters, directors and producers to pay attention to on-screen gun violence and to promote gun safety,” the signatories continue.
Children and weapons
The films could, for example, show the characters in the process of locking the safety catch of their weapon. Teams could also try to find an alternative to guns in certain scenes without ‘damaging the integrity of the narrative’.
Noting that the number of gun deaths has recently surpassed that of motor vehicle accidents among young Americans, the open letter asks industry professionals to ‘limit scenes that feature both children and weapons’.
A total of 4,368 American children and adolescents under the age of twenty were killed by firearms in 2020, according to official statistics.
More than 200 Hollywood celebrities, including Jimmy Kimmel, Judd Apatow or Adam McKay, signed the letter. They point out that while guns are ubiquitous in shows and movies around the world, ‘only America has such an epidemic of violence’.
‘The blame lies with lax gun laws, backed by politicians who are more concerned with staying in power than saving lives,’ they write.