Hollywood stars including Amy Schumer, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo signed a letter published Monday calling for film and television productions to depict responsible gun handling and limit scenes with armed children.
The open letter, written in response to the recent shootings in Texas and New York, was also signed by producers JJ Abrams (“Lost”), Shonda Rhimes (“Bridgerton”) and Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy.
“Cultural attitudes such as smoking, drunk driving, wearing seat belts and same-sex marriage have evolved in large part due to the influence of movies and television. It is time to work on gun safety,” the letter reads. by the Brady Campaign, a non-profit gun control organization.
“We’re not asking you to stop using guns on screen. We’re asking writers, directors and producers to be mindful of the issue of gun violence, and best practices to ensure the safe use of guns.”
Some of the suggested measures include showing the characters putting the safety on their weapons, and discussing before production begins whether there are alternatives that could be used in place of the weapons, without “sacrificing narrative integrity”.
The letter asks “colleagues in the creative community … to limit some scenes with children and weapons,” noting that firearms recently overtook car accidents as the leading cause of death among American minors. .
Last month, ten people were killed in a racist attack on a store in upstate New York. Ten days later, 19 children and two teachers were killed during a massacre at a school in Uvalde, Texas.
Some 4,368 US children and adolescents ages 19 and under were killed by firefighters in 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The open letter is signed by more than 200 Hollywood personalities, including Jimmy Kimmel, Judd Apatow, Bill Lawrence, Damon Lindelof and Adam McKay.
He points out that guns “are heavily represented on television and in movies all over the world, but in the United States there is an epidemic of gun violence.”
“The responsibility lies with the lax laws for gun control supported by these politicians who are more afraid of losing power than saving lives,” the text adds. “We didn’t cause the problem but we want to help fix it.”