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©AP / Dustin Hoffman
© AP / Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Hoffman accuses movie industry of glamorizing gun violence


Dustin Hoffman has waded into the debate over American gun control laws by accusing movie directors of desensitizing audiences with a "fraudulent" depiction of real life violence and discriminating against actors who refuse to use firearms onscreen.

"The Graduate" star has spoken out in the aftermath of the devastating shooting at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on December 14, when 20 young children and six adults were gunned down. The atrocity prompted calls for U.S. politicians to tighten the country's firearms laws to prevent another rampage, and also sparked debate over whether gun violence on the big screen is linked to the high number of shootings in America.

Bing: Hoffman directs 'Quartet'

Hoffman insists he has always hated handling weapons onscreen and has only carried guns in a few of his movie roles, including "Straw Dogs," "Hook"and "Little Big Man," as he feels filmmakers shouldn't use violence to thrill viewers. The actor reveals his hatred of firearms began in the 1960s when a theatre colleague threatened to shoot him in a dispute over work.

"I have always felt passionate about the fact that the audience is identifying (with movie violence) in a very fraudulent way ... I don't find anything interesting about a gun. A gun is there to threaten or kill," he told NPR. "I don't think people understand what it's like to have a gun pointed at you. When it happened to me (it was) after Kennedy (U.S. President John F. Kennedy) had just been assassinated. I was in Boston. I remember thinking, 'I'm going to take a hit' and every second you are feeling the bullet go straight through you ... You're in immediate shock. I've never forgotten that feeling... It was a guy who was part of a theatre company on the producing end ... He came out and pointed this gun..."

Hoffman is convinced many filmakers use shooting scenes to bolster the plot because "the script is lacking," and don't convey the true horror of real life violence because "a gun is rarely used in film in a way that it feels like in life. It's simplified into being a cartoon experience."

He also fears actors are pushed into violent roles because their career will suffer if they refuse to handle weapons onscreen, adding, "If you are not holding a gun, and that is something I have always refused to do, then suddenly this person who was always offered leading roles, suddenly gets offered supporting parts then you ... start getting offered cameos..."

Fellow actor Denzel Washington recently admitted he will be choosing his movie roles more carefully in the aftermath of the Connecticut shooting, but both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Samuel L. Jackson have spoken out to insist movie violence has no correlation with real life issues.

Jan 30, 2013 7:25AM

Atelast Dustin has the balls to sway this, Obama and his entourage of incompetant Senators have completely turned their backs on the Movie Industry or Violent Video Games as a potential problems for mass shootings like Sandy Hook!


Jan 30, 2013 7:25AM
lets not forget the cartoons ?  violent scenes in cartoons

and that coyote ?
Jan 30, 2013 7:25AM
Those individuals who are killing are not getting their motive from watching a movie or playing a game, they're ill and need the right treatment.  Hundreds of millions of people watch those same movies and play those same games, with no issues...... 99.999% of all who own fire arms and watch the violent movies do not kill.  Address the root cause of the killings, the the symptons.
Jan 30, 2013 7:22AM
President Obama and his administration are blaming 1/2 of the real problem. If you are going to make just 1 point it's better to complete the Analysis. Video games, music videos, songs (lyrics), Magazines, theater movies, tv movies, including the hyprocrecy of Hollywood (hollow-wood) should be ALL ashame of earnings their big $$$. Plus they are so not-in-touch with reality and the consequences of their views, words and actions. They don't see themselves as the problems but they allegetly think they do not have nothing to do with violence. Example: Does anyone remember the movie in theaters "National Born Killers?"  A young couple went to a killing spree and blame the movie after seeing it over and over. So what they decided to do well you guest it killed innocent people. When the family members tried to have a Lawsuit in court against the director Oliver Stone what happened it was throw out by the Court because that was violating the supposed "Freedom of Speech." Now you tell me whom are more less truthful NRA or the Elite Hollywood Moguls including actors, actresses, CEO's and many other people whom had blood in their hands but they wipeout the blood with excuses (fake) that don't deserved our attention.
Jan 30, 2013 7:17AM
finally some one in gollywood with some brains
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