The powerful gun-safety lobby launched by Jim Brady in 1981 has rounded up some 200 Hollywood luminaries – including Shonda Rhimes, Judd Apatow and Jimmy Kimmel – to sign its “Show Your Safety” pledge, a promise to depict guns safely and responsibly onscreen.
“Hollywood has modeled positive culture change before: Seatbelt use, smoking, teen pregnancy, marriage equality,” according to a Monday release from Brady. Now, as America’s gun violence epidemic worsens, is the time to undertake a responsibility in storytelling depicting firearms and gun safety.”
Other signatories include John Glickman, Wyck Godfrey, Grant Heslov, Simon Kinberg, Damon Lindelof, Adam McKay, Hannah Minghella, Julianne Moore, Eli Roth, Mark Ruffalo and Amy Schumer (read the full list here).
The pledge includes an open letter and a three-pronged approach to #ShowYourSafety, including modeling responsible gun ownership and showing “consequences for reckless gun use.”
Read the entire statement below:
An Open Letter to Our Colleagues in the Creative Community
Like most of America, we are enraged by the recent mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde. Considering there have been over 250 other mass shootings so far this year, it’s an almost incomprehensible tragedy. Something needs to be done.
Guns are prominently featured in TV and movies in every corner of the globe, but only America has a gun violence epidemic. The responsibility lies with lax gun laws supported by those politicians more afraid of losing power than saving lives. We didn’t cause the problem, but we want to help fix it.
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.
We are not asking anyone to stop showing guns on screen. We are asking writers, directors and producers to be mindful of on-screen gun violence and model gun safety best practices. Let’s use our collective power for good. Whenever possible, we will:
• 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.
• Have at least one conversation during pre-production regarding the way guns will be portrayed on screen and consider alternatives that could be employed without sacrificing narrative integrity.
• Limit scenes including children and guns, bearing in mind that guns are now the leading cause of death for children and adolescents.
We are under no illusions that these actions are a substitute for common sense gun legislation. 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. If you are a writer, director or producer, join us by signing here.
Jim Brady was White House Press Secretary in 1981 when he was shot in the head by a gunman trying to assassinate President Reagan. Brady and his wife took up gun-safety and control advocacy as a cause, and were able to pass sweeping reform under the Clinton Administration in 1993.