Golden Globes: Tom McCarthy, Jason Schwartzmann, Natasha Lyonne Speak Out Against Gun Violence
Hollywood is now opening up on the issue during the all-important election year with many industry notables offering their take on the Golden Globes red carpet.
The same week President Obama joined Anderson Cooper for a town hall meeting on CNN following his announcement of new executive actions meant to curb gun violence in the United States, dozens of industry professionals thanked Obama for taking action on the issue in a signed letter that received worldwide attention.
The document, titled "Enough," marked the first major sign that Hollywood was prepared to galvanize around the issue of gun violence following a year of tragic shootings from San Bernardino to Chicago. On the Golden Globes red carpet on Sunday, many were eager to discuss the subject and speak out on what continues to be a hot-button issue in an important election year in the U.S.
Spotlight co-writer Josh Singer wasn't one of the Hollywood notables who signed the letter, though he said he "gladly" would join the others, which include his writing partner on Spotlight,Tom McCarthy. But Singer told THR on the red carpet that while Obama's executive actions are important, the President's new restrictions "don't do that much."
"It doesn't restrict guns, it restricts sales of new guns. The way the Republicans spin this is very upsetting. Obama should do more and go further," he said.
Singer then revealed that he and McCarthy (one of those who did sign the letter along with Bradley Cooper, Michael Keaton, Kristen Wiig, Judd Apatow, Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass and Donna Langley, and many more) had discussed the possibility of collaborating on a expose about the issue. "I would like to see an expose on the NRA and how they put money in politician's pockets and anyone who keeps us from reasonable gun reform. What we have right now is not a democracy; it's a corruption of the system because of the way the money channels people into office and channels voting. It doesn't allow for what the majority wants. The majority would be behind reasonable gun control and gun reform, but the way money controls politicians, it's not happening."
Jason Schwartzman, part of the Golden Globe-winning team behind Amazon's Mozart in the Jungle, said that Hollywood can play a powerful role in changing the epidemic of gun violence if its done correctly. "There are a lot of guns in movies and at the end of the day, Hollywood has a farther reach than some people might think," he said.
Anonymous Content partner Steve Golin noted that the issue is "out of control." He agreed with Singer that Obama's actions aren't enough. "But if it mitigates it a little bit, I don't know how anyone can object to it. People don't need any kind of gun that is semi-automatic. It's crazy."
Earlier in the weekend, McCarthy told THR that now is not the time to point fingers. "Let's start a dialogue. It's really too bad that the two sides can't have an adult dialogue about it. The President was very brave in standing up and saying that he didn't know how much he could do but that he was going to try. We have to start trying so that we can peck away at it. Let's open our eyes to this and when take that attitude, we're at an age at adults where we can change things. We can't rely on our politicians. We should push our politicians."
Or we can rely on producers and writers to alter movies that feature guns and gun violence, said Participant Media founder Jeff Skoll. "It can be as easy as changing a scene," Skoll said on Sunday, before concluding that it might not be possible to ever completely fix the problem. "We're actually going to be able to solve nuclear weapons before gun violence in this country. For some reason, there are certain issues that almost become like religious beliefs and you can't change people's minds."
But change is something that Hollywood should be concerned with because the gun issue has now affected the industry, said actress and Orange is the New Black star Natasha Lyonne: "It's a black and white issue. What's going on in our country has become so out of control, and when people decide to shoot up movie theaters it does become a personal issue for our business. Obviously this is an insane problem. We are past the tipping point of everybody getting a gun being a good idea. We are not mature enough to handle that privilege ... until people can figure out how to stop shooting people."
Sorkin, a winner on Sunday night for writing Steve Jobs, told THR that he hadn't been approached to sign the "Enough" letter, but he's on board. "You can add my name to that list," he said.
As far as signatures, Amazon in the Jungle co-creator and Golden Globe winner Paul Weitz quipped, "Until the stars of Duck Dynasty sign it, it might not make much of an impact."