Amy Schumer leads Hollywood calls for change in gun portrayals

“We didn’t cause the problem, but we want to help fix it"

Amy Schumer, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo have joined more than 200 US actors, directors, producers and writers in signing an open letter calling for a change to gun portrayal in Hollywood films and TV shows.

This year has already seen over 250 mass shootings in the US, with recent events in Buffalo and Uvalde provoking further debate in a country where more than 40,000 people are shot and killed with guns every year.

The newly published letter from the Brady Center To Prevent Gun Violence – also signed by Shonda Rhimes, J.J. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy, Judd Apatow, and Jimmy Kimmel, among others – attributes the problem to “lax gun laws” and politicians “more afraid of losing power than saving lives”, but notes that representations in film and TV can play a part.

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“We didn’t cause the problem, but we want to help fix it,” it reads. “As America’s storytellers, our goal is primarily to entertain, but we also acknowledge that stories have the power to effect change. Cultural attitudes toward smoking, drunk driving, seatbelts and marriage equality have all evolved due in large part to movies’ and TV’s influence. It’s time to take on gun safety.”

A recent study found that gun violence on primetime network television has doubled in the last two decades (per The Guardian). Rather than calling for an end to on-screen gun violence, the letter suggests showing the consequences of improper firearm use, on-set alternatives and limiting scenes involving children.

Mark Ruffalo
Mark Ruffalo was also among the signees. CREDIT: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

“We are under no illusions that these actions are a substitute for common sense gun legislation,” the statement continued.

“Furthermore, this list does not incorporate every nuance of guns on screen. However, these are small things that we can do as a community to try and end this national nightmare.”

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Last week (June 7), Matthew McConaughey called for stronger gun laws following the shooting in Uvalde, Texas which killed 19 students and two teachers on May 24, saying there’s “a viable path forward” in regards to gun safety legislation.

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