By F. Paul Valone
The following column was published by The Charlotte Observer in October, 2000.
Welcome to the
Unsatisfied with hugging bunnies and trees, dozens of actors beckon us from Handgun Control, Inc. ads to adopt “sensible gun laws” for “the children.”
So imagine my surprise when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) accused filmmakers of marketing R-rated gore to kiddies as young as nine. Of forty-four movies reviewed, 80 percent targeted children. In marketing documents, 64 percent freely confessed.
Said the National Research Group, which does movie test marketing, “There is evidence to indicate that attendance in the original movie [“Disturbing Behavior”] dipped down to the age of 10. Therefore, it makes sense to interview 10- to 11-year-olds.” (The “standout scene,” it concluded, was the blond smashing her head into the mirror). Proclaimed another memo, “Our goal was to find the elusive teen audience and make sure everyone between the ages of 12-18 was exposed to the film.”
Columbia Tristar even tried marketing “The Fifth Element” among children’s programming on Nickelodeon. The network refused, citing gun battles, bomb blasts and a scene featuring oral sex.
Don’t expect remorse from
And don’t expect help from Al Gore. Three days after admonishing
But that’s just good clean fun, isn’t it? After all, who would link something like the Trench coat-wearing killers of “The Matrix” to horrors like the “Trench coat mafia” of Columbine High?
Leading the list of
Next is Rosie O’Donnell, who admonished: “I think there should be a law…that no one can have a gun in the
Then we have Sharon Stone’s publicity stunt. Turning in her guns to police, she maintained, “The world has changed and our children are in danger.” She’d be more credible had the gunslinger she played in “The Quick and the Dead” not taught “our children” that “some men just need killing.”
Consider HCI fundraisers attended by Jack (“Here’s Johnny!”) Nicholson (do you think he brought his axe?), or perhaps director Spike Lee’s highly publicized suggestion to stop carnage by shooting NRA president Charlton Heston.
Fortunately, poetic justice is alive and well. Scenting a kill, the same mass tort vultures picking the carcasses of the tobacco and gun industries now glide lazy circles over
Say lawyers for parents of three
We shouldn’t legislate by litigating, of course—not for tobacco, guns or movies. Yet I can’t help enjoying the irony of legal blackmail being levied against those who’ve used it to drive gun makers from business. As the cliché says, what goes around, comes around.
So the next time fashionable leftists—Martin (“Trigger Fast”) Sheen, for example—tell you what rights to surrender, ask whether they are massaging their own guilt or worse, Hollywood’s bottom line.