Earlier this week we reported that Harvey Weinstein is planning to make a movie that he says will take on the NRA head-on. But he’s going a step further, he says, and plans to stop making movies with a lot of violent content. He made the announcement to CNN’s Piers Morgan.
In the interview, Weinstein said if he wants to take on the NRA fully and have credibility while doing so, he’ll have to start with the movies that he produces. “You have to look in the mirror too,” he said. “I have to choose movies that aren’t violent, or as violent as they used to be. For me, personally, I can’t continue to do that. The change starts here.”
In addition, the studio-head explained that he’s not ruling out producing violent films altogether, he just wants the violence to be purposeful and not gratuitous. “I’m not going to make some crazy action movie just to blow up people and exploit people and make some crazy action movie,” he said.
When Weinsten initially announced his plans to take on the NRA, many of his critics called him a hypocrite for producing violent films himself, which is why he says the change has to start with him and his studio The Weinstein Company.
But some may ask, do violent movies really cause violent behavior? Is the connection really that simple?
James B. Weaver III, who’s head of the Department of Communication at Virginia Tech, says yes, as he and Dolf Zillmann of the the University of Alabama conducted a study to show if violent films change the way people react. At the conclusion of the study they determined that everyday-people can become violent after watching films that show a lot of fighting, shootings and people dying.
“We’re talking here about some people in everyday life who may not find it okay to beat up
someone, but do find it all right to exchange harsh words and insult other people,” says Weaver. “These films with gratuitous violence make people less civil, more willing to say things in a meeting or in a classroom that were inappropriate a few years ago. It seems tied to the role models seen and the lessons learned from different types of films.”
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