Bill Maher had a simple point to make on Friday night’s “Real Time” about what everyone is talking about these days: accountability for the onslaught of mass shootings in the country. Is it the person pulling the trigger, the lack of gun control laws, mental illness, etc? The comedian-host agrees it’s all of the above — but adds Hollywood’s glorification of guns and gun violence to the list.
“Now that we live in an age of uber-corporate responsibility, where every large company in America bends over backwards to get on the politically correct side of every issue, Hollywood has to tell us why doesn’t that include gun violence,” the comedian said.
Illustrating his point with a quick-cut montage of gunfire in a bunch of action-adventure films, he continued with his thought.
“When liberals scream ‘do something!’ after a mass shooting, why aren’t we also dealing with the fact that the average American kid sees 200,000 acts of violence on screens before the age of 18 and that, according to the FBI, one of the warning signs of a potential school shooter is a fascination with violence-filled entertainment?” he asked. “It’s funny, Hollywood is the wokest place on Earth in every other area of social responsibility…but when it comes to the unbridled romanticization of gun violence: crickets. Weird, the only thing we don’t call a trigger is the one that actually has a trigger.”
Maher drew a direct line from films built around “one guy who’s the hero getting over a grudge by mowing down a multitude of human beings.”
Yeah, many “impressionable” young men find that exciting and want to imitate that, he said. Mass shootings are happening more and more these days and no solution to the problem seems to be in sight because of the unyielding political divide. Maher pulled out a pie chart that showed what appeared to be at the root of many of them.
“Broken young men who feel like losers and want the world to hurt like they do,” Maher began reading the list. “Easy access to guns; kids having smartphones, which makes losers feel even worse because of the bullying and all the fake lives that look better than theirs; and, yes, yes, crazy amounts of gun violence and movies and TV.”
“We don’t show movie characters smoking anymore because it might look cool and influence children, but you’re telling me these cool dudes don’t influence them?” he said, showing more clips of, yup, guys looking cool randomly shooting.
“They say the success of ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ will be a great boost to Navy pilot recruitment. Great. But then you can’t say it’s just a movie when it’s this,” Maher concluded with clips of more excessive gun violence in film and TV shows.
You can watch Bill Maher’s entire “New Rules” in the video at the top.