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Hollywood has a problem. First, some context. I am not claiming, as some have, that Hollywood movies are somehow responsible for violence. What I am going to attempt to convey is how many outspoken anti-gun proponents among the Hollywood elite tend to believe they have influence over the unwashed masses until accusations of negative influence arise. After a number of violent murders in the past, we tend to hear individuals in Hollywood criticize “lax gun laws,” the NRA, and pro-gun politicians for not “doing something” to curb the violence . . .

When people in the pro-gun community point out the violent movies made by such anti-gun proponents as Harvey Weinstein or the likes of Matt Damon, Hollywood and the media brush off the argument as an attack on art and freedom of expression. I actually tend to agree with that defense, but I don’t really think they truly believe that statement. Oh, the irony.

When “message movies” are released into theaters, critics flood their reviews with claims such as “powerful,” “eye-opening,” “influential,” and “truly important” to describe the reviewed film. Of course not all critically acclaimed films are violent, but eight out of the last 14 Best Picture winners meet the violence criteria.

During promotional tour interviews about their films, actors and actresses tend to discuss the “depth” and “seriousness” of their roles. They espouse their world views and how they try to channel those convictions through their characters in order to convey them to the audience. Essentially, they are admitting their attempt to sway the intended audience and they seem to believe they have that power. These same celebrities film public service announcements to use their fame for “the greater good.”

But if these people think they have that much sway over the public, why do they only acknowledge a perceived positive influence and not a perceived negative one? Is it part of being surrounded with people constantly heaping praise upon them? Is it that many of them are insecure and need to participate in “hashtag politics” to make themselves feel more relevant? Could it be that they’ve never been told they’re wrong…about anything? Perhaps it’s due to peer pressure and the fear of never finding work in such a cut-throat industry if they don’t espouse the “right” messages.

Most likely it’s a mixture of all of the above that lead Hollywood types into the political fray without admitting their own hypocrisy. It’s not necessarily a problem with us, it’s a problem with themselves.

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  1. I gotta be honest here, my biggest problem never seeing a rifle shouldered and seeing animations of shells shot through a barrel, I’ve kind of made peace with the human element of it.

  2. 90% of all gun-grabbers are hypocrites.
    Wow, libs are right, making up statistics is fun.
    90% of all hypocrites are gun-grabbers.

  3. That’s what I’ve been saying for years. Apparently movies with a positive message are the only ones that can influence the audience’s opinion. The opposite never applies, so don’t blame the actors for that!

    The bottom line is that actors and most Hollywood creative types are plain dumb, and they live in a land of fantasy where if you say something sincerely enough it must be true.

  4. I don’t think Hollywood has a gun problem. The majority of guns there never run out of ammunition and are so powerful one shot will throw a person several feet back through the air.

    • Obviously, amongst their many other failings, Hollywood has a serious inability to grasp the Newtonian laws of motion. G-g-g-g-g-good muh-muh-muh-MOVE, Simple Tuh-Tuh-Tinseltown!

  5. I wonder why Tipper hasn’t said anything about violent media?
    She was all up the medias ass in the 90’s with her PMRC. Hmmm… does the PMRC even exist anymore?
    They were like the action demanding moms of their time.

  6. Matt also said his kids were absolutely going to public school.

    Well, sort of school but it’s a very private, prestigious school.

    He supports mandatory public education for all (except his kids), he does not support charter schools.

    So I guess that makes him a hypocrite at least twice and probably a lot more (must be a democrat/liberal/progressive).

  7. It’s all about the Benjamins. Do what I say-not as I do. The WORST kind of hypocrisy I can think of…well maybe Hillary’s bleating about “income inequality” after her & slick Willy banked many millions is worse…or Algores private jet. BTW I loved Captain America 2. No anti antics from Marvel.

  8. I think Hollywood has a different gun problem: Making the public anti gun. They think that guns have almost no recoil, handguns are death rays, and no one ever has to reload. As a result, they think guns are magic, and only good for killing lots of people. Also: we’ll never see the repeal of the NFA if full auto is portrayed recoiless in Hollywood.

  9. What did you think would happen? You have people worth more than a State budget surrounded by armed guards all the time reading about random crazies that have guns. They don’t care if you have a gun to protect yourself, they just don’t want you to have a gun to hurt them. They have no use for guns and don’t have to ever step foot in the real world.

    Hollywood’s defense is guns in their films are used as fantasy and so guns should remain in fantasy and not in the real world. Do you see orcs running around pillaging towns? No, so why should we have guns? Unfortunately they never come out of fantasy land and don’t understand the real uses and applications of firearms.

  10. I stopped caring what Hollywood’s millionaire. gated community, special people think a long, long time ago. I don’t care who they voted for, what books they read, what clothes they wear, what food they eat, where they dine out, or what they do. Why? Because they don’t care who I voted for, what books I read, what clothes I wear, what I eat, or where I dine out either.

  11. I think TV has a cop problem. Now no, this isn’t cop bashing, I’m simply saying that there are way too many cop shows. Seems like there’s always a new show about some police division or another, comprised entirely of GQ model-esque, witty, ethnically diverse phonies. Not only does this promote the assumption that only police can solve problems, it also paints them in an unrealistically efficient light and more times than not, glosses over or even promotes breaches of suspects’ rights.

    Let’s have some shows about private citizens solving problems, not just sitcoms where mean spirited wives abuse their emasculated husbands. Only one I can think of off the top of my head is Supernatural.

    • …which leads to unrealistic public expectations. People are shocked to hear that many homicides go unsolved when all they see on television is 100% resolution in a 30- or 60-minute timeframe.

    • I can think of at least three shows that do just that.

      The Equalizer
      Burn Notice
      Person of Interest

      They are all about private citizens helping other.

  12. Can we mention that the characters (good and bad) in most films are carrying weapons illegally most of the time? A character in NYC or mainland Europe, flashing around a 92SF, shoving it into their pants and everything is peachy-keen with this portrayal.

    But a responsible citizen with credentials to carry in the real world? Perish the thought!

  13. The problem we face with Hollywood is twofold. One, many actors and producers genuinely think they’re making violent movies in a social vacuum. Two, their lifestyles are by nature exempt from the social requirements the rest of us have to abide by.

    Abraham Lincoln once said that a real test of a mans character was to give him power, and in Hollywood famous actors have perhaps the greatest power of all-being accountable to no one on Earth. No one tells Tom Cruise what to wear, when to show up for work, or to stay late at the office on a mandatory project. That kind of existence holds an appeal for lot of glamour seeking people, which is why movie stars dictate the national pop culture and teachers do not.

    As annoying to me personally as that dynamic is, its no less real.We need to get Hollywood on board with pro self defense , starting with the writers and working our way up to the directors and behind the scenes stuff. That way we get positive images of self defense on the Big Screen, instead of the scared blonde woman calling 911 because only police should be trusted with firearms.

    • Actually, in Jack Reacher he (Tom Cruise) was a civilian who helped the helpless blonde solve her case (and told her to call the cops in the end) and then MURDERED the bad guy in cold blood. And if I’m not mistaken, wasn’t this a Harvey Wienstein movie?

      • I know, that was weird. Especially when you consider that Jack Reacher is an intimidating guy in the books, while Tom Cruise…is Tom Cruise. That is, not particularily scary or intimidating.

      • True-but Reacher in the movie was ex-Army CID, and was thus the military equivalent of a Fed before the events of the film. A bit different then a young woman dropping a knife wielding scumbag with a 12 Gauge-an act which, among other things, would have terminated the Scream franchise 10 minutes into Movie 1.

        • For years I’ve wanted to make a short film, a collage consisting of skits from slasher films and others in which an intelligent and rational person immediately ends the incident. Not more than 5 minutes the skit and heavily weighted to how ridiculous the premise behind many of these films are in the face either an intelligent would be victim or one who carries a gun. Some shorts would end without incident because the ‘victim’ simply avoided stupid people places and things and the ‘action’ never happened. Others would result in a DGU which ends the attack immediately.

  14. Actors pretend to be someone else for a film or TV show. They are paid liars. The really successful, influential actors or the “A” List are extremely well paid liars.

    • That hasn’t always been the case. Gregory Peck played an Army Air Corps general in the dark days of the 8th AF bombing offensive. He would never think of comparing himself to his friend Jimmy Stewart who actually was a WWII bomber pilot. Today if an actor plays a character he/she assumes that it gives them a special insight into reality.

  15. ” I am not claiming, as some have, that Hollywood movies are somehow responsible for violence.”

    Actually, according to Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, U.S. Army (Ret.), the author of On Killing and of On Combat, violent movies (and tv and video games) do appear to be directly responsible for a lot of the dramatic increase in societal violence. I didn’t put a lot of credence the theory previously. However, Grossman is arguable the foremost expert on conditioning for combat, and he is adamant about it. And it’s terrifying stuff.

    • Except that his stance disagrees with the stances of people that are actually psychologist and child development experts.

      That’s also ignoring the fact that there hasn’t *been* an increase in societal violence in the last 30 years. If anything, it’s the reverse.

      • Yes, but, would you like to hazard a guess what he taught as a professor at west point? Psychology.
        He has presented papers before the national conventions of the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
        Not saying he is right or wrong, but he isn’t just some kook like “dr” phil.

        • I’d argue that specifically on the topic of the influence of virtual violence on actual violence he is regarded as a kook, and with good reason. Nothing he’s presented actually amounts to evidence supporting his claims. The decreasing violent crime rate in the face of increasing volume and intensity of violence in video games and movies is enough itself to demonstrate that he’s incorrect in his conclusions. The little bit of fluff about how school shooters all played violent video games is about as convincing as arguing they all ate breakfast cereal. Perhaps true, but completely inconsequential. The vast majority of males born after 1980 have played violent video games, less than .003 percent actually commit murder, and perhaps everyone has seen many violent depictions in movies and television, again, .003 of the population commits murder. Grossman is amazing in some ways, but he’s barking mad when it comes to attempting to construe a link between virtual and actual violence.

    • Grossman is remarkable for being so right about so much and so wrong on the influence of movies and video games. It’s almost as if he’s schizophrenic the difference is so pronounced. Given the massive increase in the number of violent films and video games since 1993 and the increasing levels of portrayed violence in them, the ever declining rate of violent crime suggests that either there is no correlation, or else that increased virtual violence actually leads to a reduction in actual violence.

      Much of what Grossman has to say on other topics is virtually gospel, but when he gets into the link (non-link?) between virtual and actual violence he’s so far out in the high grass in left field that one wonders what the heck he’s on about. At the very least, on the topic of virtual violence he’s out on a ledge with no safety net of evidence or facts to cite and since he makes grand claims he should have grand evidence to support them. I can’t fathom what about video games and movies stuck in his mind, but it’s certainly not anything to do with legitimate research or any citable fact.

  16. Sean Connery is anti-gun? … I just lost a ton of respect for the guy. He was one of my fav’s too.

    • I think you have to be publicly anti gun or keep your mouth shut in Hollyweird or you stop getting work.

  17. But that hypocrisy extends to more than just guns…you or I get a DUI…off to jail. A Kardashian gets community service. Lohan should be in big girl prison for all she’s pulled…and the list goes on…laws and rules are for the little people.


  19. The biggest issue I have been having lately is that statistics show that so-called ‘military-style’ weapons are RARELY used by criminals in crime (6.8% of all firearm crime, or 1.7% of all crime, BJS statistics). But yet when you see a movie or watch a ‘copy tv show’ ALL of the bad guys have, and use, fully automatic weapons.

    Some of the shows/movies at least have the bad guys as more ‘heavy hitters’ so the automatic weapons are more plausible, but really if it were to be art imitating life that VAST majority of the firearms used should be handguns.

  20. Some actors try to walk their talk. Gene Hackman was among the best-known, starting in guns, but evolved to carry guns only in anti-violence themes, then stopped altogether. Dustin Hoffman also took a no-gun policy years ago. George Clooney has been cautious how he uses guns in his movies. It’s generally thought that younger actors can’t avoid guns without crippling their success. The question is — Is Matt Damon secure enough in his future career to give up action movies? Can he makes profitable action movies without shooting anyone? He does plenty of non-action, but his action flix make them most money. The bigger question is Tom Cruise. Cruise is older and extremely well -established, and though he has made big money in non-action, like Jerry Maguire, his big bux still come from action flix. I think cruise tries to justify it by doing so many futuristic or sci-fi fantasy things that arguably take him out of the gun-promoting territory. Younger actors who are anti-gun, and who are not likely to be superstars have more wiggle room. I suspect Edward Norton is one of them. There are others.

    • Is Tom Cruise anti-gun? I know he is a scientologist, but also anti-gun?

      Still, I liked Edge of Tomorrow..and Oblivion… and a bunch of other films.

  21. And all this time I thought movies were just pretend. I don’t see the hypocrisy. More like irony.

  22. After the Colorado theater shooting:

    “I absolutely don’t believe you can put sanctions or shackles on what is made. Nor do I want to pretend the world is different than what we witnessed that night… America is a country founded on guns. It’s in our DNA. It’s very strange but I feel better having a gun. I really do. I don’t feel safe, I don’t feel the house is completely safe, if I don’t have one hidden somewhere. That’s my thinking, right or wrong.”

    — Brad Pitt

    All the actors aren’t assh0les.

    • Yup, always been a fan of Brad Pitt. Even seen him a couple of times in Sarajevo when I was on vacation.

      Always found it funny how the Norwegians who were with me reacted compared to people who live there. Norwegians were like ;”OHMYGOD! It is Brad Pitt! *Fangirl scream*”. While locals were ; “That’s Brad Pitt, haven’t you seen him before? He travels a lot. pretty nice guy too”.

  23. What Hollywood & violent games don’t portray and what’s lost on either audience, is the obedience & discipline associated with the use of a weapon. Discharge your M16 when told not to and punishment is swift. Don’t believe a shooting up game puts a character in a legal box. I suppose the reason an active shooters caps themselves is when they see real carnage, its overwhelming. No longer a game or a subset of beliefs, the hard reality of blood oozing and lives ended tend to bum rush the brain.

    The only way to limit local, state, and federal sponsored citizen culling is more shall issue states obtaining Active Weapons Carriers.

  24. I’ve never seen anything to believe Tom Cruise is an anti. Everything I’ve seen about the little fellow makes me think “proto fascist scientologist”. And did anyone see The American with Clooney? Pretty freaking violent. I do give Clooney a tiny break for endangering his life trying to help Africans( not counting Barry O).

  25. It doesn’t matter what actors and studios believe or don’t believe as a matter of ethics. It’s the matter that the material they produce proves us right on almost every single occasion– A disarmed populace is at the mercy of armed assailants and only the hero with a gun can stop them. I’m not sure how this logical disconnect gets past so many anti gun apologists and why they continue to support their favorite hollywood avatar, but whatever…

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