Entertainment Council Re-Launching Initiative to Focus on Consequences of Gun Violence
Group's trustees include extensive list of TV and movie top execs
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 12/20/2012 11:20:22 AM
In the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings, the Entertainment Industries Council (EIC) said Thursday it is re-launching an initiative to use TV and movies to address issues related to gun violence.
EIC is a nonprofit whose board of trustees reads like a Who's Who of entertainment execs, from Barry Diller and Leslie Moonves to Sherry Lansing and Kim LeMasters.
While Washington policymakers have been focusing on the issue of media violence's role in real-life violence, the group is emphasizing the power media can have on stopping that violence by portraying the consequences and helping discourage gun violence through stories that deal with the mental health consequences.
"Lethal violence is out of line and now harming the psyche of our nation. The entertainment industry is an asset in positioning the needed range of human passion, emotion, hope and concern," said EIC president Brian Dyak in a statement.
EIC says it will be a resource for writers looking for input on story lines and characters that address the issue of the effect of gun violence on kids, and suggests it is a way to address the concern in Congress over the issue.
"As Congress becomes embroiled in public policy debates and research is undertaken, it is essential there be clear action steps taken within the entertainment community to affect attitude and behavior, and promote understanding," Dyak said in a statement.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D- W.Va.) has introduced a bill calling for a violence study, and the congressional efforts are not likely to stop there.
Typical reaction given the tragedy, and a noble one. But perhaps a council needs to form around the plethora of "unreal" reality programming that glamorizes and rewards selfish, myopic and unempethitic behaviour on almost every cable network. The lack of diversity and creativity in said programming is abysmal, but beyond being bad TV that is supposedly popular (according to Nielsen "guestimates" at least), these shows probably inflict more damage on the American psyche than glamoroized violent images from fictional shows. People are not as simple as TV executives believe. Where nuance is called for we have courseness. While everyone screams for attention, only the loudest, shrillest voices are heard. We need TV execs at some network to actually lead not just follow and react. I think "reality" programming shares at least as much responsibility as "fiction", if not more.
Robert Rose - AIM TV Group - 12/21/2012 10:04:38 AM EST
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