Shonda Rhimes, Judd Apatow, Amy Schumer Among Writer-Directors Urging Hollywood to Reconsider Guns Onscreen

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Hollywood creators, led by Shonda Rhimes, Judd Apatow, Jimmy Kimmel and Mark Ruffalo, have signed a open letter urging their colleagues to reconsider the use of guns onscreen.

“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,” around 200 Hollywood directors, writers and producers said in a #ShowYourSafety pledge released by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

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The signatories also include Gary Ross, Grant Heslov, Simon Kinberg, Hannah Minghella, Julianne Moore, Amy Schumer and Irwin Winkler.

“We are not asking anyone to stop showing guns onscreen. We are asking writers, directors and producers to be mindful of onscreen gun violence and model gun safety best practices,” the open letter reads. “Let’s use our collective power for good.”

The gun safety appeal follows mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York. The Brady nonprofit works to pass, enforce and protect what it sees as sensible laws and public policy that address gun violence at the federal and state level.

The complete letter from Hollywood creators follows:

An Open Letter to Our Colleagues in the Creative Community

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.

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