Hollywood’s Gun Control Hypocrisy
Back in October, the Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund launched a new gun control PSA. The PSA featured a tired parade of half-relevant celebs like Bill Hader, Emma Stone and Sheryl Crow encouraging viewers to call their congressional representatives. In the PSA, these pseudo-famous personalities instruct the audience on how to dial a phone number and leave a voicemail rejecting the Hearing Protection Act.
As if instructing a viewer on how to make a phone call isn’t speaking down to the audience enough, the very purpose of their message is to tell the public that they should vote against a bill that would eliminate the transfer tax on firearm silencers.
Imagine that. The filthy rich calling for people to pay taxes.
While this is more than a little irritating, it is hardly anything new. Hollywood has been pushing gun control for ages as part of their industrywide partisanship. Those in the entertainment world who break with tradition are blacklisted or openly mocked.
Take, for instance, the case of Clint Eastwood, an award-winning movie veteran whose career has spanned more than 50 years. In 2012, Eastwood, a proud member of the NRA, dared to endorse Mitt Romney at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. His off-book speech was ridiculed on social media and in the Left wing press.
Those who stick to the liberal script, so to speak, are routinely rewarded for their efforts. Documentaries that discuss the gun debate are always Oscar bait and actors like Michael Douglas who have brandished handguns and assault rifles in movies before (see: David Fincher’s The Game and Joel Schumacher’s ultra-violent, ultra-racist Falling Down) are handed Academy Awards and given the ole pat on the back by the Leftist elite.
In Falling Down, Douglas portrays a character who demolishes stores and fast food restaurants, mocks an Asian man, makes fast friends with a neo-Nazi (before the neo-Nazi tries to sodomize him, at which point Douglas murders him) and, ultimately, gets at least 55 people killed before (spoiler alert) committing suicide by cop.
Now, the argument that one would make in Douglas’s defense is pretty obvious. “Oh, it’s only make believe, he’s playing a character.” But that argument falls flat when you consider that the reason this film is beloved by movie fans across the country is because of the fact that they relate to the character.
Ask any cinephile what makes Falling Down a satisfying cinematic experience and they’ll tell you that it’s the fact that they’ve had “one of those days,” the kind that drive Douglas’s character to do the appalling things that he does.
One can be excused for feeling this way since the film frames Douglas’s behavior in such a way so that you almost feel as though he is justified…almost. When Douglas loses his sh*t over price gouging at a convenience store or arrives just seconds too late to be served breakfast at a burger joint, his subsequent fit—shooting up the merchandise and waving his gun around at employees—becomes a sort of deplorable wish fulfillment for the audience.
We’ve all had those sick fantasies before. Someone cuts you off in traffic and you imagine what it would be like to drive them off the road and pull them from their driver side window. But cooler heads prevail and the average person’s morals kick in. On the whole, we are a civilized society of rational people who follow the law.
Which is why violent films are often embraced by the public. They serve as a release valve, giving us the chance to live vicariously through bad people who would do the things we would only ever dream about but never attempt in real life.
Of course, the opposite argument can and has been made. Many blame violent entertainment for setting off violent and demented people. Legendary director Stanley Kubrick famously banned his own movie, A Clockwork Orange, after a rash of violent crimes were perpetrated by teenagers like the ones in his film.
The mainstream media and moral commentators have also placed blame on movies like Taxi Driver, Badlands, Pulp Fiction and Natural Born Killers for the way they say these films normalize or glorify gun violence.
Whether you agree with that or not, one thing should be evident—Hollywood hates guns, but they love depicting them in their motion pictures. A-list silver fox George Clooney has said that he is scared of guns, but he didn’t mind wielding tons of them in From Dusk Til Dawn, a flick that also found him burning a man alive, killing his own brother and abandoning a fifteen-year old girl outside a cheap Mexican strip joint.
Clooney also didn’t have a problem shooting an unarmed man in the face in the Coen Brothers’ Burn After Reading. And when it came time to make the transition from acting to directing, Clooney’s first foray was a funky account of a game show host turned contract killer…Pew! Pew! Pew!
Clooney is but one of the many high profile, highly-paid actors working today who advocate for gun control while advertising them in almost all of their noteable projects. Jason Bourne himself, Matt Damon, has stated that he wants the US to ban guns “in one fell swoop.”
Other action stars just like him have come out in support of recent legislation like the bill to ban bump stocks. To say that the star of a shoot-em-up coming out for the outlawing furniture for AR-15s and other common accessories is more than a little hypocritical is a bit of an understatement. What they’re saying is, “We’re paid to be liars.”
Naturally, there are those who refuse to compromise their values—Vince Vaughn, Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt among them—but, by and large, the industry is bloated with boys and girls who badmouth guns when they’re not making gun-toting adventure pics.
The pictures they are making are part of the problem, they make guns look bad. Which may be the point—to push the anti-gun agenda. But for the average moviegoer, that’s not what they do. They make the actors look cool killing
If these actors are as gung-ho about gun control as they say they are then their film careers amount to a platonic form of prostitution. They’re literally selling their likenesses to promote gun-related violence on screen, only to turn around and call for the abolishment of firearms in real life.
That may be all well and good for the celebs getting paid, but this is one john who ain’t buying.