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It appears Hollywood heard Bill Maher loud and clear.
Just days after the “Real Time” host scolded his entertainment peers for not addressing the “romanticizing” of gun violence in films and television shows following a string of mass shootings, an open letter is being floated to potentially curb how guns are presented.
“Guns are prominently featured in TV and movies in every corner of the globe, but only America has a gun violence epidemic. The responsibility lies with lax gun laws supported by those politicians more afraid of losing power than saving lives. We didn’t cause the problem, but we want to help fix it,” the open letters read, as reported by The Ankler.
“As America’s storytellers, our goal is primarily to entertain, but we also acknowledge that stories have the power to effect change. Cultural attitudes toward smoking, driving, seatbelts and drunk marriage equality have all evolved due in large part to movies’ and TV’s influence It’s time to take on gun safety.”
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The letter, which is being promoted by the group Brady United Against Gun Violence, stresses it is “not asking anyone to stop showing guns on screen” but rather creators “be mindful of on-screen gun violence and model gun safety best practices.”
It urges writers, directors and producers to use creativity “to model responsible gun ownership and show consequences for reckless gun use” and “make a conscious effort to show characters locking their guns safely and making them inaccessible to children.”
The letter calls for “at least one conversation during pre-production” on how guns will be portrayed in the final product and “consider alternatives that could be employed without sacrificing narrative integrity.” It also suggests limiting scenes “including children and guns” as guns are “now the leading cause of death for children and adolescents.”
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“We are under no illusions that these actions are a substitute for common sense gun legislation. Furthermore, this list does not incorporate every nuance of guns on screen. However, these are small things that we can do as a community to try and end this national nightmare,” the letter adds.
Several big-name producers like JJ Abrams, Judd Apatow, Shonda Rhimes, Kathleen Kennedy, Bill Lawrence, Steven Levitan, Damon Lindelof and Adam McKay are among the heavy hitters committing to the reform effort.
Other A-listers who appear as signatories include Jimmy Kimmel, Amy Schumer, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo.
On Friday, Maher offered a scathing closing monologue calling out Hollywood for not going “woke” on gun violence as liberals continue to call for gun control.
“Now that we live in an age of uber-corporate responsibility where every large company in America bends over backwards to get on the politically correct side of every issue, Hollywood has to tell us- why does that not include gun violence?” Maher began.
“When liberals scream, ‘Do something!’ after a mass shooting, why aren’t we also dealing with the fact that the average American kid sees 200,000 acts of violence on screens before the age of 18 and that according to the FBI, one of the warning signs of a potential school shooter is ‘a fascination with violence–filled entertainment?'”
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“It’s funny, Hollywood is the wokest place on Earth in every other area of social responsibility. They have intimacy coordinators on set to chaperone sex scenes, they hire sensitivity readers to go through and edit scripts, Disney stood up to the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law, another studio spent $10 million to digitally remove Kevin Spacey from a movie, but when it comes to the unbridled romanticization of gun violence, cricket. Weird. The only thing we don’t call a trigger is the one that actually has a trigger,” Maher told viewers.
WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE AND IMAGES OF GUN VIOLENCE DEPICTED