Hollywood Hypocrisy on Guns

From low budget horror films to major action blockbusters, from production assisting, directing, producing, writing, stunt coordinating to editing, photo and stunt-doubling, one of the basic things I’ve discovered over the past 25 years in show business: the Hollywood industry is “infested” with gun-toting hypocrites.

On screen they shoot to survive, avenge and protect, all-the-while conveying strong pro-gun messages for the entire globe to witness. That’s right, with make-up applied and cameras rolling, actors (and Hollywood in general) make billions of dollars using (and abusing) the spectacle of what-is, the gun.

And when the cameras stop rolling and the make-up’s removed, those gun-slinging stars of the silver screen turn into gun-control advocating frauds. Glorifying guns on the big screen and then simultaneously denouncing their existence (and the public’s right to bear arms) after the director yells “cut.”

Working on thousands of production sets has placed me in many verbal disagreements with actors, stand-ins, extras, etc. who back strict gun-control. They speak so adamantly of the gun’s negative impact on society—only to be agreeable when called to remove it from a holster and blaze away upon the utterance of an Assistant Director’s cue.

There are a few famous performers who should be excused from this general observation, such as Kurt Russell and Tom Selleck. But most are guilty of ballistic hypocrisy.

Sylvester Stallone once made the comment “The only way to make America safe: go house to house and confiscate every gun.” On TV’s Access Hollywood back in June, 1998, Arnold Schwarzenegger changed his gun-stance to run for office in his adopted home state: “I’m for gun control. I’m a peace-loving guy.” Really, do piece-loving guys rack-up nearly 130 killings in front of millions of viewers, when you combine the body-count in just two of his films (99 in “Commando” and 28 in “Terminator”)?

Gone are the days when American celebrities like John Wayne, Elvis Presley and Sammy Davis Jr. used guns on screen and off, and were proud to do so. And, yes I said Sammy Davis Jr., check out his great tune “Bang! Bang!” from the 1964 film Robin and the 7 Hoods. Sammy was a huge gun aficionado.

Today, the hypocrisy is glaring. In an interview for The Sunday Herald in January 2003, Matt Damon declared “I actually hate guns. They freak me out.” Perhaps he’d like to favor his favorite charity with the royalties from his gun-o-centric films, such as Saving Private Ryan, Green Zone and The Bourne Ultimatum films.

Matt’s pal George Clooney mocked legendary star and gun-rights advocate Charlton Heston. After poking fun at Heston’s then Alzheimer diagnosis, reporters questioned him about his insensitivity. Clooney: “I don’t care. Charlton Heston is the head of the National Rifle Association. He deserves whatever anyone says about him.”

Mr. Heston to Clooney: “I served my country in World War II.  I survived that. I guess I can survive some bad words from this fellow (Clooney).”

Mr. Clooney, who’s primary home is Lake Como, Italy is guilty of gun hypocrisy. He’s used guns to avenge wrong and just fool around in films like The Peacemaker, Out of Sight, The American and From Dusk Till Dawn. 

Another hypocritical actor in today’s anti-gun scene, who also had it in for Charlton Heston: ex-rapper and underwear model turned actor Marky-Mark Wahlberg (also a friend of Clooney’s).

One of the more well known incidents of Wahlberg’s assaults at Mr. Heston took place back in 2000, at the MTV movie awards show where Mark Wahlberg (on stage with, Clooney) was presenting the honor for “Best Villain.” In front of the live audience (and the entire world) Marky-Mark stated, “I believe Charlton Heston is America’s best villain because he loves guns so much. Maybe he should get the award for being president of the National Rifle Association.”

Wahlberg, a repeatedly arrested teenage convicted felon, bad mouthed a champion of gun rights while portraying and glorifying gun slinging characters in films like “Planet of the Apes,” “Shooter,” “Three Kings” and “Max Payne.”

Wahlberg, in the April 26th, 2007 issue of Herald Sun: “I’d like to see if we could take them (guns) all away. It would be a beautiful thing.”  Wahlberg attempted to clarify his movie gun-use: “I haven’t used a gun anywhere other than on a movie set.” Do as I say not as I do. Meanwhile, Mr. Wahlberg is planning to release a soon-to-be feature entitled, “2 Guns” How appropriate.

It’s ironic that we as a free society take up arms for protection, recreational sport, target practice and/or hunting, while these movie stars, on the other-hand, take up arms for power and profit.

Contrary to what they may believe, the Clooneys’ are simply out of touch with ordinary Americans’ stance on gun rights. And not wonder. They are clueless how the typical American manages to make a living and gets through the day.

The only reason the Hollywood elite are able to project their hypocritical remarks is because of their fame, not because of their intelligence or education. Still, the pro-gun advocates of the world should take note of their influence, as fame is a difficult thing to compete against. It’s unfortunate though that there aren’t more pro-gun celebrities, like Academy Award winner and one of America’s most distinguished performers, James Earl Jones.

A recipient of a full scholarship to the University of Michigan where he was a pre-med major, as well as an officer in the Training Corps, Jones had said it best when he stated: “The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose.”

I’m waiting for the movie.