Does Hollywood Bear Any Blame For Violence?


Peter Bogdanovich, the legendary director, has broken ranks with his Hollywood brethren. He may never eat lunch in that godless town again.

In a disarmingly-honest first-person jeremiad appearing in the August 3 issue of the Hollywood Reporter, the auteur known for such films as “The Last Picture Show,” “Paper Moon” and “Mask” indicts the motion picture industry for playing a role in last week’s massacre in Colorado.

“People go to a movie to have a good time,” said Bogdanovich, “and they get killed.”

“At first,” he noted, some of those watching the massacre unfold inside the theater, “thought it was a part of the movie. That’s very telling.”

The director lamented, “Violence on the screen has increased ten-fold. It’s almost pornographic… It’s all out of control. I can see where it could drive someone crazy.”

Bogdanovich wasn’t  just ranting in the wake of tragedy. He was speaking truth.

Indeed, Ameirca’s youth are inured to violence through saturation exposure to violence-laden movies, like “The Dark Knight Rises,” as well as television shows and video games.

Before the average American child even finishes elementary school, he or she will view 100,000 acts of violence just on TV, including some 8,000 murders. And when they become old enough to go to the movies without their parental units, they’ll see even more ersatz violence.

Of course, most of Bogdanovich’s Hollywood brethren (and sistren) will strenuously object to suggestions that the violence and mayhem they are putting on the screen has any effect whatsoever on mass murderers like 24-year-old James Holmes.

But there is prima facie evidence of the influence Hollywood has on the hoi polloi.

All the way back in 1934, Columbia Pictures released “It Happened One Night,” a romantic comedy starring Clarke Gable and Claudia Colbert. In one memorable scene, Gable took of his shirt and revealed his bare chest.

In so doing, the actor inspired millions of American men to abandon their undershirts, temporarily devastating the nation’s T-shirt manufacturers.

More recently, there was the 1982 science fiction movie, “E.T.,” starring young Henry Thomas and a very young Drew Barrymore. In one noteworthy scene, the character played by Thomas lures an extraterrestrial out of hiding by dropping Reese’s pieces on the ground.

For months, Reese’s pieces were the most popular candy in America.

Warner Bros., the movie studio that released “Dark Knight Rises,” did not cause the bloodshed in Colorado last week. I still maintain that young man Holmes was operating under demonic influence.

But Warner’s certainly contributed.

In the previous installment of its Batman franchise, the most compelling character was not Batman, the good guy, but the Joker, who delighted in murder and mayhem.

That clearly was an inspiration to Holmes, who went so far before his real world killing spree as to dye his hair red in worshipful tribute to Warner’s evil-doing character.

This entry was published on July 26, 2012 at 8:00 AM. It’s filed under Popular Culture and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

3 thoughts on “Does Hollywood Bear Any Blame For Violence?

  1. This is a topic I recently discussed with someone close to me. It seems to me that satan has been carefully orchestrating a fair segment of the production of television and film over the last decades. The repulsive inclusions were made almost systematically. It seems that as sales started to pick up the producers may have said, “if some is good, more should be better … think of the profits …” and poured it on thick, while risking their souls. These shocker scenes and films have reached a fevered pitch, it seems. People I know are shocked that I refuse to watch or read horror or graphic entertainment. I find such visuals / words / audio incredibly upsetting; I’ve never understood how someone can watch such portrayals and find it “entertaining.” It seems the devil must be pleased with his work.

    Having said that, I don’t think it is hopeless. I do not believe that all is lost. All it takes is a small and reasonable group of people with ideals to start to help change take hold. It is possible to make the devil lose his hold. It is possible to save many of those who are influenced by wrong.

    • The Scripture tells us that the Lord “is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

  2. I have studied the Bible for 43 years now and I still can’t figure out what makes evil men evil. what makes one choose God and another brought up in the exact same conditions , rejects him.
    We do know that abused children tend to be abusers and children of alcoholics tend to follow the pattern. However it is not written in stone.
    Science itself teaches us for each action there is an equal and opposite reaction. My wife and I were sitting on the couch just last night and we were pulling up You Tube showings of Mayberry RFD and such. We were lamenting how things have changed to blood and gore and murder. Kids (not mine thank God) want Vampire movies and even the cartoons are demonically prone.
    Hollywood has a giant role that it plays in shaping the hearts and minds of others and have been purposely doing it for years. Sometimes for good and sometimes for bad. Propaganda movies during world war two boosted morale for our citizens. Shows like Father Knows Best and Leave it to Beaver taught kids and encouraged adults in how to follow the rules, how the man leads his house and how the wife backs him up.
    Little by little they slipped it in. It was so subtle no one noticed. They never showed bedrooms but then they showed twin beds and then one and then scenes in that bed which are reserved only for man and wife.
    Nothing was left to the imagination and even the children’s shows have sexual innuendo in them.
    I would love to see all of it removed from TV but it probably never will be and will get progressively worse.
    In my house the kids learn musical instruments, they read books, they do crafts, we home school them and they have learned as I have, how to play games with each other. There is some pre-approved TV but it is not hours a day. Because of that I have a couple of well rounded kids.

    I hate when some liberal says , “If you don’t like it then turn it off.” However, it is the truth. It is up to us as parents and leaders to make sure the enemy does not get a toe hold in our homes.

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