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.

24 Responses to Hollywood Hypocrisy on Guns

  1. avatarJamie in ND says:

    That was an awesome read, Joe, thank you. I try and boycott anything and anyone who is anti-gun. I knew about Clooney but not Wahlberg, what a phony.

  2. avatarGreg in Allston says:

    Hypocrisy from Hollywood? Who knew?

  3. avatarGreg in Allston says:

    BTW, Wahlberg = felon in possession.

  4. avatarTTACer says:

    I am pretty sure most of these skels also own guns and/or have private security.

  5. avatarJT says:

    Lol, they’re actors. What they say should be taken with a grain of salt. They’re paid millions to make movies, not have useless opinions.

    I enjoy most of the movies by the aforementioned actors, but their opinions are absolutely ridiculous.

  6. avatargarynyer says:

    shut up entertain
    its only in the last couple hundred years that acting wasnt akin to prostitution, which i think does a greater service to the world ;)

    • avatarOrvil says:

      +1 on actors needing to act and not take themselves so seriously. I don’t sit on pins and needles waiting for Clooneyisms to guide my compass. As we give these entertainers less air play, and less credence, their rhetoric will become meaningless. They like to think they are social policy influencers. They are not. Once their Top 10 fame and small fortunes dry up, they will be silent.

  7. avatarAaron says:

    If they’re so against guns and so in favor of gun control, why are so many of them caught with firearms in their luggage at airports?

  8. avatarLeo Atrox says:

    We’ve got a few more pro-gun actors. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt pack heat at home. They don’t carry them outside the house and I’m not sure what their stance is on public carry (open or concealed); but they’re definitely not anti-gun. Michael Dudikoff, Robert Carridine, and Ashton Kutcher also come to mind. And then, of course, you have the old war horse, R. Lee Ermey. This guy doesn’t want anything to do with Hollywood, except for the paycheck. Sort of a reverse-hypocrite. (Not that this is a bad thing.)

  9. avatarJohn Barlow says:

    I can attest to Mr. Jones’ fondness for all things firearm, he shops at my local gun store and have spoken to him on numerous occasions. He has a deep love for 1911s of any caliber and configuration.

  10. avatarChristopher P. Fusaro says:

    Great read!

  11. avatarMartin Albright says:

    The good news is that the “message” conveyed by their movies is much more powerful and much more long-lasting than their insipid opinions.

    Long after their words on some talk show or awards presentation have been forgotten, people will get the “message” that while talk of peace, love and understanding is great, when the shit hits the fan, the hero has to tool up and defend himself and his family/nation, etc.

    The movie IS the message, and maybe that’s one reason these airheaded celebrities feel the need to try and counteract that message by prattling on in public.

    And of course, if these guys really believed what they are saying, they’d refuse to “glorify” guns in their movies. The fact that they don’t shows that like so many others in the entertainment industry, they only have “principles” as long as it doesn’t affect their paycheck.

    • avatarAharon says:

      #1, great comments.

      Most people can see through their double standards and that alone loses them some level of respect among many people…if people even care at all to consider the bs. The movie message of using guns for protection and to achieve justice is far more powerful, and that includes an emotional high people get that no boring opinionated anti-gun statement can match.

  12. avatarRokurota says:

    Clooney could take lessons from the great Richard Dreyfuss, liberal and classy: http://old.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-dreyfuss082002.asp

    • avatarGreg in Allston says:

      Rokurota, you’re absolutely right, and not just Clooney, and not just actors. It never hurts anyone to have a little lesson in grace, class and magnanimity. I remember reading Dreyfuss’ article shortly after it was first published. Thanks for jogging my memory and bringing it around again to share. Classy indeed.

  13. avatarGS650G says:

    Laura Ingrham summed all this up in her book “Shut up and Sing”

  14. avatarFrank Williams says:

    So how many of these anti-gun celebs travel with security personnel or bodyguards who DO pack heat? It’s gun ownership by proxy when you pay someone to carry a gun for your personal protection, no matter how much you speak out against gun ownership.

  15. avatarOrdine Nuovo says:

    Actors are essentially professional liars. So their deception comes at no real surprise.

  16. avatarharry durbridge says:

    Another gun toting hypocrite is Luke Goss, check out his facebook page, after the tragic shooting he posts a no gun image, scroll a little further down and he is advertising his latest film blazing away with two guns (one is obviously not enough!)

  17. avatarKeith says:

    Actors would hate me. I haven’t went to a movie since the last Harry Potter. I have toasted so many of my dvds in the microwave, from Sylvester Stallone to Arnold Schwarzenegger. I refuse to contribute a dime to these hypocrites, and don’t tell me
    that they are just playing a role.
    These are people that have made millions portraying action heroes and villains on the screen. Movies do influence a persons behavior. Depending on their intelligence, mental health, and upbringing, a movie can entertain or steer someone into doing something violent.
    The only reason that actors are saying something now is that they are afraid that their commander in chief will turn on them and say, “tone it down”, and their goes their paycheck.

  18. avatarWill says:

    Matt Damon never said he was against people owning guns. He said they freak him out and that he hates them. I don’t think that is the same as saying he is against gun ownership. I don’t like guns, but I really don’t care if people have them.

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