Thu 25 May 2023:
Hollywood should portray safer use of guns in television and film at a time of rampant gun violence in the United States, USC Annenberg’s Norman Lear Center for Hollywood, Health and Society said in a report.
“Trigger Warning: Gun Guidelines for the Media” encompasses more than 20 years of gun data and trends revolving around the statistic that firearms are the leading cause of death in children and teens in the United States.
“If television can embrace depicting gun safety, we will see people in America become more comfortable with securing their guns safely at home,” Norman Lear Center programme director Kate Folb told the Reuters news agency.
Folb, who has spent years studying the correlation between entertainment and society, says that simply showing safe gun storage onscreen can have a lasting impact.
The guidelines break down the problematic influence of guns in America through myth debunking, intimate partner violence, mass shootings and children’s programming, and offer suggestions for improving the representation without sacrificing storylines.
Hundreds of producers, directors, writers agree
The report was developed with support from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which after the mass shooting of children and teachers in Uvalde, Texas, a year ago, wrote an open letter committing to gun safety onscreen.
More than 300 directors, producers and writers signed that letter.
Folb said the Norman Lear Center would hold presentations and meetings on gun portrayal with Hollywood after the writers’ strike and will have a presence at entertainment festivals.
The Norman Lear Center studies the social, economic and cultural impact of entertainment and has consulted on several television projects, including “Grey’s Anatomy,” “This is Us,” and “Euphoria.”
Award-winning producer and writer Norman Lear celebrated the guidelines and the mission.
“I couldn’t be prouder that the Center which bears my name is releasing this report about gun safety and the entertainment industry,” Lear said.
“How guns are portrayed on screen should reflect the public health crisis we are in, and help portray responsible gun ownership.”
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