Late last week, Harvey Weinstein made the announcement that he would accomplish what decades of gun control advocates have not by bringing down the NRA, using something even more unassailable than the Second Amendment: the public’s love for Meryl Streep. As you might imagine, Weinstein’s comments that he would make the NRA “wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them” did not go over well with NRA supporters, with people like Ted Nugent comparing Weinstein to Joseph Goebbels and Saul Alinsky, in what actually qualifies as a measured, diplomatic response from Ted Nugent. Others without such a firm grasp on history turned to the most glaring quibble: How can Harvey Weinstein decry gun violence while simultaneously profiting from movies like, say, Jackie Brown, which devotes several minutes to Samuel L. Jackson waxing rhapsodic about the AK-47?
As it turns out, it’s an accusation of hypocrisy so thuddingly obvious it couldn’t even escape Piers Morgan, who brought it to Weinstein’s attention on his show Friday night. And somewhat surprisingly, Weinstein agreed. “Well, I think they have a point,” Weinstein said to everyone but Ted Nugent, presumably. “You have to look in the mirror too. I have to choose films that aren’t violent or aren’t as violent as they used to be.” Weinstein went on to declare, “The change starts here,” vowing that, while he would continue to make movies like Lone Survivor, where the violence is an integral part of telling a story, he would not be making any more movies where it’s included “just for the sake of blowing up people.”
Of course, there’s some question of what this means for Weinstein’s relationship with filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, who’s made Weinstein very successful with gun violence and people blowing up, just for the sake of it. Or with Robert Rodriguez, whose movies are essentially frameworks upon which the director invents new places to stick guns. (Perhaps Tarantino’s next Western, The Hateful Eight, will be about guys who are just really, really difficult. Perhaps Rodriguez’s Sin City: A Dame To Kill For will bear the appended subtitle …But Only Metaphorically Speaking.) But provided Weinstein is serious, and he’s able to resolve these seeming conundrums without, say, resorting to inserting walkie-talkies, the NRA should actually be happy. After all, as the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre would agree, without any more movie depictions of gun violence, there definitely won’t be any more victims of it.
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