Like every other network executive who has taken the stage at this TCA press tour, FX president John Landgraf this morning was asked about the possible link between onscreen violence and the rise of mass killings in America. “As an industry I think we should study (the issue) more, and if we find such correlation we should act on it,” Landgraf said. He drew a distinction between “third person entertainment” like films and TV, where viewers are passive observers of a third person(s) committing the violence, and “first person video games,” where the user acts as a killer. Landgraf said he likes third-person entertainment but doesn’t allow his sons to play violent video games at home.
He also drew attention to the availability of guns, especially semi-automatic, military-style weapons like those used in Aurora and Newtown, and listed statistics that gun homicides per 1,000 in the U.S. are 9 times higher than in the UK “We consume the same media — The Walking Dead is as popular there as it is here — they play the same video games, and the last time I checked James Bond kills a lot of people with a gun,” Landgraf said. “The major difference is the access to guns.” (The UK has a strict gun ban.) But overall, “we should talk about it, we should do more research, and it all should be fair game, including video games and entertainment,” he said.