Hollywood stars sign pledge over on-screen gun violence

Hollywood stars sign pledge over on-screen gun violence
(AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

Hollywood likes to tell the rest of the country what to think. Actors and actresses, directors and producers; they all believe they have not just the right, but the responsibility to tell you how to think and feel about various things.

Take issues like guns, for example. They routinely demand that you and I give up our firearms because, in their mind, we have no reason for owning them.

Of course, since this usually comes out of the mouths of people who have made bank on action films with tons of guns, it’s more than a little hypocritical.

It seems it was too hypocritical, in fact, even for Hollywood.

Over 200 members of Tinseltown’s best and brightest have signed a pledge promising to portray guns in a responsible way onscreen.

A batch of writers, actors, producers and directors — including Jimmy Kimmel, Mark Ruffalo and Amy Schumer — have endorsed an agreement titled #ShowYourSafety for Brady United.

“Hollywood has modeled positive culture change before: Seatbelt use, smoking, teen pregnancy, marriage equality,” the company explained on its website Monday. “Now, as America’s gun violence epidemic worsens, is the time to undertake a responsibility in storytelling depicting firearms

Other A-listers who notarized their signature include Debbie Allen, Judd Apatow, Betsy Beers, Adam Brody, Shonda Rhimes, Adam McKay, Liz Tigelaar, Chris Van Dusen, Krista Vernoff, Julianne Moore and many more.

The petition does not ask Hollywood to rid of guns and gun violence on TV and film completely, but for creatives to be “mindful” of onscreen weapons and how they are depicted.

Now, it’s interesting that of the names that have signed it, almost none are known for action movies or action roles. Especially ones involving guns.

Amy Schumer ain’t exactly in the running for a role in the next John Wick movie, after all.

Now, there are exceptions. JJ Abrams does direct some action-oriented films, though those are science fiction or fantasy films where traditional firearms aren’t an issue. Mark Ruffalo may be best known for his Marvel roles, though those are superhero movies.

Most of the names on the list aren’t people you’ve likely heard of. What we don’t know is if they’re people who have any kind of pull behind the scenes.

So what does this mean?

Well, for once, it looks like Hollywood is accepting that they’ve been hypocrites. That’s a novel change, to be sure.

Yet I’m also not completely convinced that movies have anything to do with so-called gun violence. After all, the rest of the world sees the same movies and television shows–we export them all over the planet–and many of them don’t have the same issues.

Further, I’ve also noted that there’s no pledge to end anything or to make different movies, just to mostly “consider” things before shooting.

In other words, it looks like an empty gesture to try and brush off claims of hypocrisy going forward without them having to actually do anything different.

Hollywood likes to think of itself as special and that it shouldn’t be beholden to the same rules as we little people, and this is just another example, really.