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The debate over violence in the media was renewed in December after it was revealed that the shooter in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy spent hours in a windowless basement playing the first-person shooter game Call of Duty.
The weekend after the Dec. 14 shootings in Newtown, Conn. — which left 26 people dead, including 20 children — Obama aide David Axelrod tweeted, “In NFL post-game: an ad for shoot ’em up video game. All for curbing weapons of war. But shouldn’t we also quit marketing murder as a game?”
And just a few days later, the NRA held a press conference during which executive vp Wayne LaPierre accused the media, Hollywood and video game industry for contributing to a violent society.
Many in the industry immediately began mocking LaPierre on Twitter, but how do consumers feel about violence in the media? The Hollywood Reporter teamed up with pollster Penn Schoen Berland to ask moviegoers and TV watchers how their views on depictions of violence were affected by the shootings.
Of those polled, 70 percent over age 30 feel there is too much violence depicted in advertising for movies and TV. And 34 percent of all respondents say advertising for violent films and TV shows should have greater restrictions.
Meanwhile, 44 percent of parents say the Newtown shootings actually made them more aware of how much violence their kids are consuming in media.
However, 75 percent of everyone polled said it isn’t Congress’ or the president’s role to pressure Hollywood to make less-violent movies and TV shows. But 35 percent of parents disagreed.
Meanwhile, 46 percent of respondents said Hollywood should make fewer movies that feature violence and killing, while 48 percent said the violent content should remain the same. (Women are nearly twice as likely as men to say Hollywood should make fewer violent films.)
Only 6 percent believe that there should be more violent movies made.
Among parents, 51 percent believe there should be fewer violent movies made.
Meanwhile, 68 percent of liberals say the NRA bears more blame than Hollywood, but 74 percent of conservatives blame Hollywood more than gun-ownership advocates.
However, 60 percent of all respondents agree that mental illness is the single biggest cause of mass killings.
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