In the April 2014 issue of the NRA’s “America’s 1st Freedom,” they included an article about producer, writer, and director, Harvey Weinstein. The article – Cover the Screen in Blood – discussed aspects of Weinstein’s many films that have splattered gore and blood across theater screens for some time, as well as his penchant to make NRA “wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them.” 
Whether it’s Gangs of New York, Pulp Fiction, Crouching Tiger – Hidden Dragon, and a host of other films that cater to the gory and macabre, Weiinstein has no difficulty bringing blood-spattered violence to the big screen. It’s part of what he does.
But the remarkable thing is that Weinstein simply sees his work (or “art”) as fantasies, even if based on historical events. Weinstein believes that the only justifiable reason for having guns is to fight genocide (as in the case of the Holocaust). He stated in an interview with Howard Stern, “This is when you’re marching half-a-million people into Auschwitz…I mean, whatever. I’d find a gun if that was happening to my people…I don’t think we need guns in this country. And I hate it. The NRA is a disaster area.”
Of course, the problem – aside from the hypocrisy – is that Weinstein makes no sense. How was Hitler able to march all those Jews to the gas chambers? By taking their guns first. He knew if he removed the ability of the average person to physically resist his plans, killing Jews would be much easier. Take away their guns, then how can they truly resist? History has shown that it did work for Hitler. If guns are removed from society, then how could anyone resist a genocide that would most likely come?
But aside from this, most people believe that guns and violence in movies, TV, and video games does not translate to violence in real life. But that belief is faulty and it can be clearly shown that it is faulty by referencing another area of concern, smoking.
A few years ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics stated, “There is a lot of research that shows the link between smoking in TV or movies and in children.”
What? That can’t be, can it? A young person can allegedly distinguish between real and movie violence, but when a real cigarette or some other tobacco product is used in movies, that causes them to want to take up smoking? That is what the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) found with their numerous studies.
According to the study, which looked at on-screen tobacco incidents in youth-rated movies
released in 2010, the number of such incidents has declined 72 percent since 2005. And the
movie studios that have published policies designed to reduce smoking in films were responsible
for a 90 percent decrease in tobacco incidents in their films, demonstrating that such an approach
That’s interesting to me. Clearly, there is a direct link between actors using tobacco products in movies and an increase in adolescent smokers. Conversely, when the studios reduced smoking in films, there was a 90 percent decrease in tobacco use among young people. Certainly, it’s possible to argue with the results of the studies, but it seems to have convinced the medical people in the AAP.
Yet, we constantly hear that violence in movies has no affect on society or people. Folks don’t go to movie after movie after movie filled with violence and blood being splattered all over the screen and become violent themselves. We are to believe that while smoking and placement of tobacco products in movies does create more smokers, a constant diet of gun-related violence has apparently, no affect.
My wife and I were watching a movie just the other night on TV and it was interesting to see how many different products were placed throughout the movie. This “product placement” occurs because sponsors pay a hefty price to have their products actually in the film and not outside it. In essence, the commercial comes inside the movie when we see a can of Pepsi or Coke on the counter top, or held by one of the main actors in the film.
Why do these companies pay such big dollars for their products to be in the movie? Because it’s simply another form of advertising that pays big dividends for the sponsor. If it didn’t work, sponsors wouldn’t do it. They see a return on their investment by paying to place their product(s) in a film. It makes people want to go to the refreshment stand and purchase their own Pepsi or Coke.
If we stop to consider it, movies are really an hour and a half or so of advertising. The movie is telling us how to think, what’s right, what’s wrong, and even what to buy.
How many of us wanted to find out more about the “hoverboards” used in the “Back to the Future” movies? People wanted one even though the technology isn’t there yet. It’s a form of advertising, making us want something that we see in the movie.
It’s the same with anything and that includes the use of weapons and violence. Is it possible that society has become more violent (though the FBI says crime itself is down) through their attitudes and character because of the steady diet of movies that theater-going audiences have been watching for decades?
If we consider just how far things have come since the days of “classic horror” movies, it should make you take notice. In the 1930s and 40s, movies like “Dracula,” Frankenstein,” “The Werewolf,” etc., were released by Universal Pictures. They were creepy and scary for that they did not show, but implied.
Segue to 2014 and there is virtually nothing left to the imagination. Blood, guts, severed limbs, bodies with large holes in them from shotgun blasts, heads cut off, eyes popping out, etc., etc., etc., have created a situation where people are used to that level of violence and it really doesn’t mean anything. Society has become desensitized by all of it.
Yesterday, I watched a short video of a man on the bus or subway trying to get near a young woman with her baby. Another woman stepped in to keep the young mother safe. The two got off at the next stop but the man stayed on. He eventually attacked a cop and was arrested.
What was interesting though was that out of all the people on that bus or subway car, the woman was the only person who stepped up to help the young mother. Others saw what was going on and chose to ignore it.
Harvey Weinstein is involved with movies that ultimately portray violence in a way that tends to make people think it is the norm. It desensitizes people in society. Yet, Harvey thinks the real problem is the NRA, the people who advocate safe and legal use of weapons for self-defense, hunting, and sporting events. They support the 2nd Amendment and the Constitution in general.
Weintstein obviously wants the 2nd Amendment gone and with it, the ability to own guns in America. He doesn’t believe people should be able to own them even for protection (unless somehow it has to do with stopping genocide, but then it’s too late).
The problem with America is seen in people like Harvey Weinstein who add to the problem of gun violence by glorifying it on the silver screen and then blaming the NRA when society breaks bad with gun violence. If there is a connection between the use of tobacco products in movies and an increase in smoking by young people, then obviously the same is likely true with respect to guns. It’s also something Weinstein would continually deny because it would mean that he is part of the problem and not the solution.
The hypocrisy of Hollywood runs deep. Very deep. America’s 1st Freedom, April 2014, p. 33