Just a few days ago I had gone to see the new Quentin Tarantino movie "Django Unchained". Following the Sandy Hook tragedy I have been very sensitive to anything shooting related. Going to see the movie was of course a huge mistake as it was filled with shooting death after shooting death, so much so it became gratuitous and ridiculous. A blood fest.
Today I came across a post from a website called "Chicks on the Right". Being a more liberal type I would not have seen this post were it not for a friend who shared it on facebook. Ironically, after seeing Django I had thought about how much Hollywood has glorified shooting, guns and death and that it needed to stop. Then I watched this:
Interesting that Jamie Foxx, star of Django is the first celebrity to demand change. His portrayal of the "fastest gun in the South" exhibits the total hypocrisy that this video speaks of.
The trouble with celebrity is that it just can't be used to influence intelligent people in these situations. It would be like Kim Kardashian advocating for family values. It just isn't believable and they quite frankly are making a mockery of Hollywood.
Whether you are a celebrity or not however, you cannot be guilty of something and then demand others don't do it. Granted, the celebrities in this video may not have actually shot anyone but they have glorified it; made it look so easy and acceptable.
In researching older Hollywood film codes and censorship I discovered the "Hays Code" which is also known as The "Motion Picture Production Code". During the time when the motion picture industry was in it's early beginnings, there was no censorship regarding sexuality, drug use, prostitution, violence and several other categories. Religious groups began to call for laws against the depiction of such items and hence, the code was created.
The groups felt that these types of films were immoral as well as too educational; promoting bad behavior. A passage from Wikipedia in the subject: "In 1927–1928 the violent scenes removed were all of those in which a gun was pointed at the camera, some instances in which guns were pointed "at or into the body of another character", many shots where machine guns were featured, scenes where criminals shot at law enforcement officers, some scenes involving stabbing or knife brandishing (audiences considered stabbings more disturbing than shootings), most whippings, several involving choking, torture, or electrocution, and any scenes which could be considered educational in their depiction of crime methods. Sadistic violence and reaction shots showing the faces of individuals on the receiving end of violence were considered especially sensitive areas. The Code later recommended against scenes showing robbery, theft, safe-cracking, arson, "the use of firearms", "dynamiting of trains, machines, and buildings", and "brutal killings", on the basis that they would be rejected by local censors." In 1966, the code was abandoned.
Current laws in film making are quite obviously loose. While the MPAA governs who can view films, it does nothing to govern the content. People just love violence and in contrast to what I thought may be a violent film in the 1960's is nothing compared to the raw, blatant violence exhibited today. And the celebrities that are being paid millions upon millions of dollars to depict criminals, mass murderers and the like are now telling us to end violence.
I don't believe that all crimes are a result of movie violence and that all celebrities are guilty of promoting it. What I do believe is that it doesn't help; if there was fear in the 1920's of violence being educational, why wouldn't there be more of a worry about it now? With the availability of weaponry and many other factors, it should be more of an issue now.
So, if this group of hypocritical celebrities is so tired of violence and demanding its end, I'd like to see them stop making violent films. I'd like to see them donate the money they have made making these movies to the families of the victims of violence. And make a video about it.
Let's see how quick that video is made.
Tags: aurora, censorship, chicks on the right, columbine, demand a plan, Django, Django Unchained, film violence, films portraying gun violence, gun violence, gun violence in movies, Hays Code, Hollywood, Hollywood hypocrisy video, hollywood on gun control, Michael Moore, MPAA, Newtown, Sandy Hook, violence, violence in movies, virginia tech