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Harvey Weinstein — the man behind some of the most violent movies to ever hit the big screen — says it’s time for Hollywood to address how violence in movies influences people.
Speaking to The Huffington Post, Weinstein called for a filmmaker summit in the wake of last week’s theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., that left at least a dozen dead and 58 wounded.
“I think as filmmakers we should sit down — the Marty Scorseses, the Quentin Tarantinos and hopefully all of us who deal in violence in movies — and discuss our role in that,” Weinstein said.
But Weinstein — an avid supporter of President Obama — suggested the No. 1 culprit is the lack of gun control and said it is time for politicians to “put up or shut up” on the issue.
“If we don’t get gun-control laws in this country, we are full of beans. To have the National Rifle Association rule the United States is pathetic. And I agree with Mayor Michael Bloomberg: It’s time to put up or shut up about gun control for both parties. Mitt Romney better outline where he stands, and people know that I’m a firm supporter of the president and I believe he’s got to do the same,” Weinstein said.
However, Weinstein — who is reportedly throwing an Obama fund-raiser on Aug. 6 — stopped there in terms of questioning Obama’s decision not to talk about gun control in the days following the shooting. “I don’t think he’s timid. I think he’s got deep personal beliefs. I don’t have to agree with everything a candidate does to support him,” Weinstein continued.
As for himself, Weinstein has backed all of Tarantino’s violence-infused movies, including Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained, a violent slave-era Western, due out Christmas Day.
The level of mayhem in these films hasn’t gone unnoticed by Weinstein.
“It’s a question that I wrestle with all the time. I’ve been involved with violent movies, and then I’ve said at a certain point, ‘I can’t take it anymore. Please cut it.’ You know, you’ve got to respect the filmmaker, and it’s a really tough issue. My heart goes out to those kids and those families,” Weinstein said later in the interview.
“Violence on the screen has increased tenfold. It’s almost pornographic. In fact, it is pornographic. Video games are violent, too. It’s all out of control. I can see where it would drive somebody crazy,” Bogdanovich said.
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