The tragic elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut is raising many questions about gun violence and how to prevent future tragedies. And Hollywood is taking notice! Stars from the upcoming film Django Unchained are talking about violence in films and the influence on society.
Jamie Foxx was quick to admit there is likely a link between the gun violence seen on the big screen and that which takes place in real life, off screen. “I think, look, I think we cannot turn our back and say that violence in films or anything that we do doesn’t have a sort of influence,” he tells the Associated Press. “It does. The only thing I, my peeve is when it’s our art, we say ‘oh it doesn’t have anything to do with it.’ And you can’t be that way. I’m sure that someone takes something from everything that we do.”
Meanwhile, Kerry Washington, digs deep into the issue at hand, reflecting on the root cause behind a violent act in society: “I think the one thing that’s important is that there are a lot of films that don’t connect violence to any kind of emotional truth. And one of the things that’s really clear in this film is that violence comes out of societal ills. That we go to violence when we don’t know how else to deal with people and when we’re not connected to another person’s humanity is when we turn to violence. I do think that it’s important when we have the opportunity to talk about violence and not just kind of have it as entertainment, but connect it to the wrongs, the injustices, the social ills.”
And Samuel L. Jackson takes a step back and argues that “it’s easy for people” to blame Hollywood for gun violence. “I mean I grew up in a gun culture,” he explains. “In the south. Everybody had a gun. Nobody in my neighbourhood came out of their house with their real gun to play Cowboys and Indians and shoot people. It just didn’t happen. Everybody understood what guns were, what they did and if you have the right parental guidance and understanding you don’t go around doing things like that to people. All that starts at home.”
Christoph Waltz on the other hand, says it is the media’s responsibility more so than the story teller, “because the story teller – yes Django is violent, but it’s not inspiring violence. Because actually to me I find violence to that degree repulsive.” The actor continues, “The fact that it looks so impressive is because it’s on a big screen. It’s an element of the story. It’s an important element of the story. Because it tells a story of the American History.”
Watch more on stars speaking out about the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut on tonight’s ET Canada!