Hollywood creators want to model a better culture around guns.
Amy Schumer, Shonda Rhimes, and many more Hollywood actors, writers, producers have signed their names to an open letter agreeing to “model norms and visions that guide us to a safer America free of gun violence.”
Two hundred Hollywood leaders signed the pledge, put together by the Brady Organization, including Jimmy Kimmel, Judd Apatow, J.J. Abrams, Mark Ruffalo, Julianne Moore, “Ted Lasso” creator Bill Lawrence and others.
“Hollywood has modelled positive culture change before: Seatbelt use, smoking, teen pregnancy, marriage equality,” the letter reads. “Now, as America’s gun violence epidemic worsens, is the time to undertake a responsibility in storytelling depicting firearms and gun safety.”
Along with onscreen depictions, the signatories also vow to fight to enact gun law reform in the U.S. in the wake of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and gun violence in general.
But while the political component of the fight is important, the letter adds, “We also acknowledge that stories have the power to effect change.”
The letter also clarifies that there is no call to ban depictions of guns in film and television.
“We are asking writers, directors, and producers to be mindful of onscreen gun violence and model gun-safety best practices,” the letter reads, before making three recommendations.
“Use our creativity to model responsible gun ownership and show consequences for reckless gun use. We will make a conscious effort to show characters locking their guns safely and making them inaccessible to children,” reads the first recommendation.
“Have at least one conversation during pre-production regarding the way guns will be portrayed onscreen and consider alternatives that could be employed without sacrificing narrative integrity,” reads the second.
Finally, the letter recommends, “Limit scenes including children and guns, bearing in mind that guns are now the leading cause of death for children and adolescents.”