Shonda Rhimes, Amy Schumer, Judd Apatow, and many other A-listers are urging Hollywood to reconsider how they portray guns on-screen in the wake of the mass shootings that have rocked the United States.
The Hollywood Reporter announced that over two hundred writers and directors, including Jimmy Kimmel and Mark Ruffalo, have signed an open letter asking for Hollywood to consider how they use guns on-screen.
Amy Schumer, Mark Ruffalo, & More Sign Open Letter On Gun Violence
The creators of the petition are reported to include Gary Ross, Eli Roth, Grant Heslov, Simon Kinberg, Hannah Minghella, Julianne Moore, Amy Schumer, and Irwin Winkler.
The letter specifically calls out the recent wave of mass shootings, saying, “Like most of America, we are enraged by the recent mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde.”
“Considering there have been over 250 other mass shootings so far this year, it’s an almost incomprehensible tragedy,” they continue. “Something needs to be done.”
The #ShowYourSafety pledge was released on Monday, June 13, by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The Brady Center is a nonprofit organization that works to pass, enforce, and protect what they deem “sensible” gun control laws and public policy focused on ending gun violence at the state and federal levels.
“We are not asking anyone to stop showing guns onscreen,” the letter adds. “We are asking writers, directors, and producers to be mindful of onscreen gun violence and model gun safety best practices.”
Full Hollywood Open Letter On Gun Safety Shared Below
THR also shared the published version of the open letter, which is addressed to “our colleagues in the creative community.”
“Guns are prominently featured in TV and movies in every corner of the globe, but only America has a gun violence epidemic,” the letter begins. “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,” they add.
“As America’s storytellers, our goal is primarily to entertain, but we also acknowledge that stories have the power to effect change,” they continued. “Cultural attitudes toward smoking, drunk driving, seatbelts, and marriage equality have all evolved due in large part to movies’ and TV’s influence. It’s time to take on gun safety.”
“We are not asking anyone to stop showing guns on screen,” they wrote. “We are asking writers, directors, and producers to be mindful of on-screen gun violence and model gun safety best practices. Let’s use our collective power for good.”
They are asking other creators to “Use our creativity to model responsible gun ownership and show consequences for reckless gun use. We will make a conscious effort to show characters locking their guns safely and making them inaccessible to children.”
Another detail of the pledge reads, “Have at least one conversation during pre-production regarding the way guns will be portrayed on screen and consider alternatives that could be employed without sacrificing narrative integrity.”
The open letter also asks to “Limit scenes including children and guns, bearing in mind that guns are now the leading cause of death for children and adolescents.”
The letter concluded, “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. If you are a writer, director, or producer, join us by signing here.”
Jimmy Kimmel recently sat down with President Joe Biden to discuss gun control. Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey also visited the White House to give an emotional speech about the child victims in Uvalde, Texas, his hometown.