Study shows Hollywood needs to depict safer gun use in films and on TV
Hollywood should portray safer use of guns in television and film at a time of rampant gun violence in the US, USC Annenberg’s Norman Lear Center for Hollywood, Health and Society said in a report released on Tuesday.
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 US.
“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 Reuters.
Folb, who has spent years studying the correlation between entertainment and society, said simply showing safe gun storage on-screen 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 offers suggestions for improving the representation without sacrificing storylines.
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 on-screen. More than 300 directors, producers and writers signed the letter.
Folb said the Norman Lear Center would hold presentations and meetings on gun portrayal with Hollywood and will have a presence at entertainment festivals.
The centre 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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