No one on the right looks at Hollywood as some kind of a political ally. After all, we have Twitter. We have a media that hangs on celebrities’ every word. We know just how actors and directors really feel about anyone who doesn’t share their progressive politics.
And it seems some anti-gunners are looking to bank on that fact and try to push Hollywood to take up their agenda in future movies.
In early January, entertainment industry magazine Variety published a lengthy interview with former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of the eponymous gun control organization Giffords. The piece outlined the group’s plans to influence Hollywood, noting,
One of Gabby Giffords’ priorities for 2021 is to forge relationships with writers, producers, celebrities and decision-makers in Hollywood who can leverage their powerful platforms to speak out against gun violence, call for commonsense laws and support local community efforts to raise awareness about gun safety.
The Giffords organization came about as the result of a 2016 merger between gun control groups Americans for Responsible Solutions and the San Francisco-based Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (formerly Legal Community Against Violence). In 2008, as Legal Community Against Violence, the group submitted a brief in the District of Columbia v. Heller case that argued the Second Amendment does not protect an individual right to keep and bear arms in the home for self-defense.
Giffords explained the “importance” of her group’s efforts in the following exchange with Variety,
Interviewer: Do you believe that the entertainment industry can play an important role in helping address the nation’s cultural and political divide?
Giffords: Stories are important. Elected officials use them to help get their points across, and for centuries artists have used them to inspire, make us understand points of view different than our own and bring people together. Hollywood and the arts are vitally important to helping us through a period of isolation, bitterness and divisiveness.
It’s not quite clear how pampered Hollywood elites belittling the lifestyle choices and attacking the fundamental rights of America’s 100 million gun owners would help to resolve the nation’s “bitterness and divisiveness.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time gun control advocates have sought to directly influence a receptive entertainment industry.
No, it’s not.
However, why has Hollywood not done more of this sort of thing? After all, they know they’ll be exempted from even the most draconian gun control, so why not try to push this agenda hard?
The answer is simple: It doesn’t make any money.
See, the film and television industries exist to make money. While they can get away with a few subtle barbs here or there, they can’t make blatantly anti-gun movies and make a profit. They’ve tried in the past. One example is Miss Sloane starring Jessica Chastain. That movie bombed, making something like $9 million worldwide which sounds like a lot to you and me, but is pretty low for a movie with this kind of cast.
It’s probably because a lot of people have no interest in being preached to in their entertainment. Sure, you can throw in a bit of anti-gun message here and there, but the movie can’t really be about gun control.
That’s because while art has long been used to inspire and change people’s hearts and minds, we live in a different world and Hollywood knows it.
See, they put out something like Miss Sloane and they end up eating the loss. They put out a John Wick and make a fortune. The Bad Boys franchise made over $800 million over three movies (we don’t talk about the spinoff TV show. Ever) and plenty of other action films have made Hollywood insanely rich.
Giffords can push. I’m sure the Hollywood executives will pledge their support and offer to help Giffords in any way they can. Then they’ll go back to making movies the American people actually want to watch.
The days of being able to manipulate the arts to push a narrative are over.