Dear Chris Dodd:
I recently read a news story on TheWrap in which you, as chairman of the MPAA, said Hollywood is ready to participate in a meaningful dialogue about gun violence after the Sandy Hook Massacre in Newtown, Conn.
You are from Connecticut. I am from Massachusetts, originally, although I am now living in Asia, far from the violent gun culture of America.
Mr. Dodd, I grew up on movies. I went to college with people who are now film producers in Hollywood and overseas. I went to college with people who are now famous actors in Hollywood.
I love Hollywood, and I love movies, from "The Ten Commandments," which I saw when I was about 8 years old, to the recent release of that Jean Valjean flick. So I write this letter to you as a friend of Hollywood and with the hope that maybe something can be done to take guns and gun scenes out of future Hollywood movies — on a voluntary studio basis, of course.
There, I said it. I am serious. I am not Jonathan Swift of yore with a "Modest Proposal" for eating babies to solve the hunger crisis in Ireland. No, I am a modern American man who loves movies, and yet I feel that the time has come to rethink the way we make and show our filmed entertainment.
As you know, Mr. Dodd, the Sandy Hook shootings also sparked calls from your old Senate colleague Jay Rockefeller for stricter regulations to protect children from violent images on television, videogames and other media.
The Wrap quoted you this way: "Those of us in the motion-picture and television industry want to do our part to help America heal. We stand ready to be part of the national conversation."
Mr. Dodd, I live in Asia now. Every night I watch movies on TV here, and in my channel surfing I find plenty of Hollywood movies – and nine out of 10 involve scenes of guns and people firing guns. These movies show a very violent gun culture to the rest of the world. Surely we can find a way to stop this and still make creative, crowd-pleasing flicks. I believe we can. If there is a vision and if there is a will. You must lead the way.
I am calling my citizens’ lobby group on this issue SGIH, for Stop Guns in Hollywood.
Can you help?
Blogger, reporter, movie fan since 1949 — and even after I die. I hope