MPAA chief: Hollywood “stands ready” to talk about culture of violence

posted at 1:01 pm on December 21, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

The gun industry has come under tremendous political and media pressure after the Newtown massacre a week ago today, but they haven’t been entirely alone, either.  The entertainment industry has also come in for criticism for its glorification and personalization of violence.  Colorado governor John Hickenlooper blamed video games for increasing violence in our culture, and Jamie Foxx said that Hollywood’s influence bears some responsibility for it as well.  MPAA chief Chris Dodd — the former Senator from Connecticut, where the shootings took place — announced yesterday that Hollywood wants to be “part of the national conversation”:

MPAA topper Chris Dodd has offered his condolences to the families of Friday’s shooting victims, marking the org’s first public statement since the killings that have heated up the national conversation about gun violence and the media.

“As a citizen of Connecticut and having represented the people there for 36 years in Washington, I have been shocked and profoundly saddened by this tragedy. My heart goes out to the community as I know they will carry this pain with them long after the spotlight on Newtown has dimmed,” Dodd said in a statement issued Thursday. “As chairman of the MPAA and on behalf of the motion picture and television studios we represent, we join all Americans in expressing our sympathy as well as our horror and outrage at this senseless act of violence. Thus, I have reached out to the Administration to express our support for the President’s efforts in the wake of the Newtown tragedy. Those of us in the motion picture and television industry want to do our part to help America heal. We stand ready to be part of the national conversation.”

I’d be excited by this if Dodd meant that Hollywood might actually offer some introspection over its mind-numbing output.  Somehow, I doubt that.  My guess as to what Dodd has in mind, given his current and former jobs, will be to converse aboout how Hollywood can push the gun-control agenda through its products. Dodd’s expression of “support for the President’s efforts” on behalf of the MPAA makes that pretty clear.

I don’t want to see Hollywood get censored any more than I want to see the government start confiscating weapons.  The proper venue to determine what products should be sold is the marketplace.  Nor do I think that movies and video games are a proximate cause for the impulse to commit mass murder, any more than I think the gun is the proximate cause.  The proximate cause in these cases are the shooters, and their own specific pathologies.

But there is a larger debate to be had about the nature of our culture, and whether the dominating influences on it — the entertainment media especially, but also schools and other prominent institutions — are serving us well in inculcating a shared value system based on the value and sanctity of human life.  Will Dodd open a debate on that?  I doubt it, especially in the same week that Hollywood is celebrating another installment of Quentin Tarantino’s revenge fests, Django Unchained.  Hollywood won’t address those concerns until moviegoers stop buying tickets to their violent exploitation films, released while the entertainment industry’s biggest names get together to scold gun owners for being so violent.  The hypocrisy would be laughable, if not so grotesque under the circumstances.

Update: PJTV’s Poliwood wonders whether Hollywood will rethink its relationship to violence, too:

The easy answer: when moviegoers rethink their relationship to its violent product.  But as long as they’re lecturing the rest of us, our first answer should be Thespians, clean up thine own act.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Hollywood: Guns are for actors, not for viewers.

Dusty on December 21, 2012 at 1:04 PM

What next, censoring bad thoughts?

John the Libertarian on December 21, 2012 at 1:05 PM

We should tally up the number of people shot by each Hwd big mouth in films/television and the millions of bucks they were paid for doing so.

Blake on December 21, 2012 at 1:06 PM

GUNS FOR HE, BUT NOT FOR THEE….

ARIZONAVETERAN on December 21, 2012 at 1:06 PM

They will take my Halo and Counterstrike from my cold, clammy, mouse-glued hands.

Archivarix on December 21, 2012 at 1:06 PM

My guess as to what Dodd has in mind, given his current and former jobs, will be to converse aboout how Hollywood can push the gun-control agenda through its products. Dodd’s expression of “support for the President’s efforts” on behalf of the MPAA makes that pretty clear.

Rambo 2013 – The ultimate pillow-fight.

Tim_CA on December 21, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Who besides Hollywood makes billions of dollars promoting violence? It’s a very profitable industry for these people.

HotAirian on December 21, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Oh crap, a plane fell out of the sky, let’s ban all flight.

John the Libertarian on December 21, 2012 at 1:07 PM

You can always trust Chris Dodd to do the right thing.

a capella on December 21, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Rambo 2013 – The ultimate pillow-fight.

Tim_CA on December 21, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Look at the positive side. If they reduce combat scenes to pillow fights, we will see a whole lot more naked women in them.

Archivarix on December 21, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Who besides Hollywood makes billions of dollars promoting violence? It’s a very profitable industry for these people.

HotAirian on December 21, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Duh, because people BUY TICKETS. It’s a reactive industry. So are video games.

John the Libertarian on December 21, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Expendables 2 was horrid, just sayin’…

Fallon on December 21, 2012 at 1:15 PM

How about we have a conversation about your Countryside mortgage???…

PatriotRider on December 21, 2012 at 1:17 PM

john woo has blood on his hands!!2?#+2929

tom daschle concerned on December 21, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Who besides Hollywood makes billions of dollars promoting violence? It’s a very profitable industry for these people.

HotAirian on December 21, 2012 at 1:07 PM
Duh, because people BUY TICKETS. It’s a reactive industry. So are video games.

John the Libertarian on December 21, 2012 at 1:10 PM

No doubt about who buys their product but that wasn’t my point. I was agreeing with Ed

Hollywood won’t address those concerns so long as they are making big bucks off it.

HotAirian on December 21, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Fatuous corrupt ass. Vieing for relevance.

pat on December 21, 2012 at 1:30 PM

I vote less gun fights and lots more naked pillow fights! We can build on this!

search4truth on December 21, 2012 at 1:31 PM

I honestly don’t know if (modest) censorship doesn’t help or hurt Hollywood’s product. I love many of the pre-Hays movies from 1930-4, but the 1934-1968 period, when Hays was being enforced, includes most American film classics. Of course, that’s mostly a time of no TV, and it could be argued the films would have been even better if they could have addressed issues like sex more frankly.

But Lucy, the best and most enduring situation comedy, was produced at a time when you couldn’t say the word “pregnant” or show couples in one bed. Instead of this truly imaginative humor with not a bit of naughtiness, you now have, say, Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory (a mostly bad, juvenile show with a few redeeming features) saying “coitus” and we’re supposed to laugh at that. OTOH, it wasn’t all Sid Caesar in the Fifties, and while it was a little before my time, my sense is that some of the sitcoms were modest entertainment at best.

bobs1196 on December 21, 2012 at 1:31 PM

What next, censoring bad thoughts?

John the Libertarian on December 21, 2012 at 1:05 PM

.
Ray Kurzweil is working on the technology for that.

listens2glenn on December 21, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Look at the positive side. If they reduce combat scenes to pillow fights, we will see a whole lot more naked women in them.

Archivarix on December 21, 2012 at 1:09 PM

On could only hope.

It is, after all, Hollywood……..

Tenwheeler on December 21, 2012 at 1:32 PM

A criminal running the MPAA? Makes sense.

Ward Cleaver on December 21, 2012 at 1:32 PM

I vote less gun fights and lots more naked pillow fights! We can build on this!

search4truth on December 21, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Yeah, I’ll be in my bunk building on that.

Archivarix on December 21, 2012 at 1:33 PM

“We have to protect our phoney baloney jobs here, gentlemen! We must do something about this immediately! Immediately! Immediately! Harrumph! Harrumph!”

If Chris Dodd is blathering, you know there’s profit in it for him. He’s one of the engineers / profiteers of the mortgage market blowup / conversion to FedGov control.
Chris Dodd as Senator from Connecticut never met an anti-gun law he didn’t like.
Chris Dodd’s Father, as Senator from Connecticut, helped incorporate portions of the Nazi Weapons Law of 1938 into OUR Gun Control Act of 1968.
If Chris Dodd’s mouth is moving, he’s inveigling against our Rights.

rayra on December 21, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Look at the positive side. If they reduce combat scenes to pillow fights, we will see a whole lot more naked women in them.

Archivarix on December 21, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Waitress Sandwiches? Or, maybe, more sweeping panoramic views of the Irish countryside?

Fallon on December 21, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Hollywood won’t address those concerns so long as they are making big bucks off it.

HotAirian on December 21, 2012 at 1:29 PM

I completely disagree. The MPAA has a choke-hold on what ratings it gives films. Hollywood self-regulates better than most industries.

John the Libertarian on December 21, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Don’t like the violence, don’t buy a ticket. After the fawning of the Hollywood moonbats prior to the election, I’m surprised more aren’t boycotting them.

JPeterman on December 21, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Natural Born Killers trailer…

Seven Percent Solution on December 21, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Waitress Sandwiches? Or, maybe, more sweeping panoramic views of the Irish countryside?

Fallon on December 21, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Have you seen Six Swedes in the Alps? The alpine views are gorgeous!

Archivarix on December 21, 2012 at 1:50 PM

I can see it now:

“Coming soon to a theater near you, on Christmas Day 2013 …

from the creators, producers, and directors of “Pimps for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac”, “The Community Reinvestment Act”, and “The Dodd-Frank Bailout Bill”

with cinematography by the most enthusiastic acolytes of Leni Riefenstahl …

comes the heartwarming, futuristic, utopian fantasy of a better world …

a world which first must be cleansed by foreign U.N. soldiers who heroically travel across and to all parts of America, from urban centers to rural outposts (exempting government employees and union thugs, a small group considering such a large crossover between the two) …

efficiently going door-to-door to confiscate firearms from legal citizens (again, exempting illegal aliens who are classified as having permanent-victim-status) …

and although the troops beat, torture, and arrest for re-education those who refuse to comply and subsequently survive being shot — the deeply nuanced and subtle thematic message here is clearly the beauty of nonviolence

Gandhiji himself would have given it two thumbs and two toes up! …

Don’t miss “Chris and Barnie”, also a love story, and you’ll be shocked — all audiences roar in approval — at the surprise ending …

let’s just say it involves a car, a cliff, and a lot of speed …”

ShainS on December 21, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Video games, movies, internet, blah blah blah…never the individuals fault anymore..never

sadsushi on December 21, 2012 at 1:51 PM

I wonder if such discussions were had upon the first viewing of

Titus Andronicus

ernesto on December 21, 2012 at 1:52 PM

What we really need is a ban on testosterone.

“Ban the white whale!” cried Captain Ahab.

John the Libertarian on December 21, 2012 at 1:52 PM

MPAA chief: Hollywood “stands ready” to talk about culture of violence

The small print reads:

“…in exchange for passing SOPA and other laws that benefit our community’s bottomline, including a Constitutional amendment prohibiting any government, Federal, state, and local, to put an excise tax on movie profits. It was unconscionable that movie profits were subject to an excise tax of 20%. This prohibition should also apply to the sale of movie tickets, distribution profits, and royalties.”

Do we really want the Hollywood 1% Royalty to have to make a short-film arguing supply-side economics? Why, yes, we would! Let’s reimpose the Hollywood Tax. Hypocrisy is a beautiful thing to see and use as a weapon, my friends, and I can only imagine what Spielberg, Lucas and Weinstein could do with the Laffer Curve. Star Wars meets diminishing returns.

From Tom Donelson:

In the early 1950’s, the motion picture industry suffered from the effects of an excise tax passed during World War II. Interesting enough, the film industry produced a film calling for the tax repeal on the assumption that the tax hurt their industry’s bottom line and cost jobs. The film featured everyone from industry leaders to those who worked in the theaters including the ticket collectors talking about how the tax hurt them. The message to the public was that this tax reduced tax revenues, cost jobs and if repealed, would lead not only to increased government revenues but more economic growth. Name the last time a Hollywood big shot or even very highly paid actor managed to say, “Hey higher taxes are costing us jobs?” Probably since this tax was repealed.

Hollywood discovered Laffer Curve before Laffer did. In this 22 minute film, charts and personal testimony make the case that tax reduction can lead to both economic growth and jobs. One chart compares those industries that are not burdened by the 20% excise tax with the movie industry, and showed that while the movie industry suffered losses in profits, other industries profited. The film pointed out how many towns were losing their theatres and one small business owner lamented as to how his business and others suffered since theatres closed down in his town. As he noted, his own mother would no longer come to town in the evening since the theatre was closed and with the theatre closed, there was little to attract people to downtown Main Street and spread the wealth among other businesses.

The film showed how the tax did not lead to more revenues but less as theatres closed and there were less revenue to tax. They made the supply side case that a lower tax revenue actually could produce more revenues while reviving the industry. As one individual noted, Hollywood was not asking for special treatment but an elimination of a tax that other industries did not pay. Could this be Hollywood making the case for a simpler tax system with lower rates for all? In 1953?

Take a look-see for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Zic30Dt5F68

Resist We Much on December 21, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Well, at least Violence in the movies lets Jamie Foxx fantasize about killin’ all de white peoples ….without any actual risk to himself.

LegendHasIt on December 21, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Resist We Much on December 21, 2012 at 1:52 PM

you must be watchin TCM at this very moment…

equanimous on December 21, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Hey half-a-loaf (oops, that should be half-a-sandwich), talk is cheap.

Mitoch55 on December 21, 2012 at 1:55 PM

You’ll take my Xbox controller from my Cheetoh stained fingers.

Bishop on December 21, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Video games, movies, internet, blah blah blah…never the individuals fault anymore..never

sadsushi on December 21, 2012 at 1:51 PM

^^^This^^^

JPeterman on December 21, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Whatever, just as long as we don’t touch violent Urban Gangsta Rap that shapes the values of our yute and encourages Gang criminality.

After all, then we would also have to focus on the criminals responsible for the inner city homicides that are guaranteed to end human lives on a daily basis.

That would require too much caring.

FlaMurph on December 21, 2012 at 1:58 PM

I bet tax breaks for non-violent pictures are on the table.

Follow the money.

PattyJ on December 21, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Chris Dodd?

Yeah, he’s gonna broker an honest discussion.

National conversation?

You mean, the one where we have to listen to the Left/Progressive view and solutions and agree 100% or we are not partaking in that conversation?

If we spend millions annually for armed men and women to protect our President, our national leadership, and a heck of a lot of Hollywood special people…and we are forced to put our kids in a declared, labeled, known to the public “gun free” free-fire zone, and even parents and locals cannot step out there and protect our kids without being arrested and charged with violation of the “gun free” laws…is there something wrong with this picture?

Face it, Malia and Sasha are worth more, by millions of dollars per year in protection, than our own kids.

This culture of violence has a big fan in the White House…look at the celebrities he hangs with. They all made their millions selling, producing and turning out violence in song, movies and television.

Honest national conversation?

In a pig’s eye.

coldwarrior on December 21, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Fine. When Hollywood put Django in the can and pulls it’s release, I’ll consider them as serious.

michaelo on December 21, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Have you seen Six Swedes in the Alps? The alpine views are gorgeous!

Archivarix on December 21, 2012 at 1:50 PM

I just thought Mr. Dodd might want to get a little scratch for renting out his seaside “cottage” in Ireland.

And, since pron is not really my cup of tea, I’ll ask you. Has Two Senators and a Waitress already been made into a movie?

Fallon on December 21, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Has Two Senators and a Waiter already been made into a movie?

Fallon on December 21, 2012 at 2:01 PM

It needed fixing. :-)

coldwarrior on December 21, 2012 at 2:02 PM

If Hollywood leftists want a gun ban, fine – it can start with them: no more guns in movies. Hypocrites want to ban gun ownership while they make billion$$$$ exploiting them.

Child In Time on December 21, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Chris Dodd, you are a f***ing criminal and you have no business discussing ethics, or morals, or cultural values. But hey, why don’t you show up on my doorstep and together we can find out out how many rounds my magazine holds.

M240H on December 21, 2012 at 2:13 PM

you must be watchin TCM at this very moment…

equanimous on December 21, 2012 at 1:54 PM

No. Why?

I remembered reading that a few months ago and could hear Chris Dodd’s “Irish Cottage/Friends of Angelo” brain working on a tradeoff.

snicker

Resist We Much on December 21, 2012 at 2:22 PM

These are the dumbest “conversations” ever. Nobody believes this crap but we do this dance after each rare shooting.

thebrokenrattle on December 21, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Resist We Much on December 21, 2012 at 2:22 PM

heh, as you were typing TMC was airing the film linked in your quote…

equanimous on December 21, 2012 at 2:31 PM

equanimous on December 21, 2012 at 2:31 PM

err TCM…

equanimous on December 21, 2012 at 2:33 PM

This was my comment at EJ’s post on the NRA. It’s an even better fit here.

NRA chief: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun”

Isn’t this basically the ending of just about every cop or spy show on TV? Isn’t this what has theater patrons clapping and cheering for at the end of action/adventure flicks? Ironic how all those despicable Hollywood celebs support the concept when it helps to make themselves rich, famous and successful, but it’s not okay for life to imitate art–though we know it’s really the other way around. How, otherwise, are all their movies and cop shows going to end on a positive note, bcuz we know nobody would watch them otherwise.

stukinIL4now on December 21, 2012 at 2:29 PM

stukinIL4now on December 21, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Censorship is unamerican.

Some tried this crap 10 years ago during Bushmania. It won’t happen this time either.

Don’t like a film’s content, don’t see the film. It’s a simple process.

Moesart on December 21, 2012 at 2:35 PM

I wondered where the old dirtbag Chrissy Dodd (D-Countrywide) was lurking.

viking01 on December 21, 2012 at 2:36 PM

If YOU stop buying that theatre-ticket, stop purchasing a down-load, just stop putting money into their pockets allowing them to buy that next personal jet, and the Sardinian coastal manse, etc., they will change.
Until then, they won’t.

Another Drew on December 21, 2012 at 2:57 PM

I don’t support censorship, and I don’t think it would help.

But part of me would love to see the liberals eating liberals if they go after Hollywood. Of course it’ll never happen.

rightmind on December 21, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Good God help us…all that will be left are Nicholas Sparks’ and Tyler Perry’s movies!

nextgen_repub on December 21, 2012 at 3:18 PM

It needed fixing. :-)

coldwarrior on December 21, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Oh, I guess the bread swings both ways? Did not know that.

Fallon on December 21, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Hollywood wants to be “part of the national conversation”

Please, stay out of it. You Hollywood idiots don’t know jack about anything. All you do is try to push silly and stupid propaganda. If I see one more little girl beating the living hell out of huge guys and outrunning them (as if that were even possible in real life) I think I’ll puke. I won’t even make mention of the tons of other roles that you seem to exclusively cast in ways that never happen in real life. It would be funny if you weren’t so stupidly earnest about it. Hollywood movies are like that joke about the difference between Heaven and Hell with the different people holding different jobs. The industry is nothing but a punchline. They’re lucky that people are desperate enough for any sort of entertainment that they can still earn billions with mediocre and sub-mediocre shlock.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on December 21, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Resist We Much on December 21, 2012 at 2:22 PM

heh, as you were typing TMC was airing the film linked in your quote…

equanimous on December 21, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Freaky-deaky!

Resist We Much on December 21, 2012 at 4:18 PM

As a movie geek and horror fan, I always hate when movies are blamed. Its not because of gun laws or video games or violent movies that these things happen.

Jack_Burton on December 21, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Hollyweed give up guns, blood and violence? It what alternate universe?

GarandFan on December 21, 2012 at 4:57 PM

I vote less gun fights and lots more naked pillow fights! We can build on this!

search4truth on December 21, 2012 at 1:31 PM

nobody got dead in Animal House…but it had the best pillow-fight scene ever…

ok…Belushi might have gotten hurt when he fell with the ladder but fortunately he was “relaxed” during the entire shooting of that movie.

teejk on December 21, 2012 at 5:07 PM

Dodd can go sandwich a waitress on Ted Kennedy’s grave.

b1jetmech on December 21, 2012 at 5:58 PM

The play boy ex-senator’s mouth is running again, America watch out!

savage24 on December 21, 2012 at 10:01 PM

The president could use his brother creds to alter the b*tch-slapping, cop-killing, thuggery themes of rap music, too, right?

Yeah, let’s all “introspect” and have a “national conversation” about nothing!

Hypocrisy is still hypocrisy even if thousands of people are doing it.

virgo on December 23, 2012 at 1:33 PM