Judd Apatow, Jimmy Kimmel, Shonda Rhimes, Amy Schumer and dozens of other Hollywood producers and writers have signed a petition urging the entertainment industry to reconsider depictions of gun violence and gun safety practices.
In an open letter released by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, more than 200 creative professionals said they felt moved to take action after the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas.
"As America’s storytellers, our goal is primarily to entertain, but we also acknowledge that stories have the power to effect change. Cultural attitudes toward smoking, drunk driving, seatbelts and marriage equality have all evolved due in large part to movies’ and TV’s influence," the letter says. "It’s time to take on gun safety."
It’s time to take on gun safety ... let’s use our collective power for good.
-letter signed by 200 creative professionals
"We are not asking anyone to stop showing guns on screen," the letter goes on to say. "We are asking writers, directors and producers to be mindful of on-screen gun violence and model gun safety best practices. Let’s use our collective power for good."
The letter goes on to outline several aims, including using filmed entertainment to "model responsible gun ownership and show consequences for reckless gun use," including depicting characters locking their guns safely and keeping them away from children.
The people behind the letter also called on film and television creators to "have at least one conversation during pre-production regarding the way guns will be portrayed on screen and consider alternatives that could be employed without sacrificing narrative integrity."
The other signatories include J.J. Abrams, Michelle and Robert King, Bill Lawrence, Damon Lindelof, Adam McKay, Marti Noxon, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo.
"We are under no illusions that these actions are a substitute for common sense gun legislation," the letter says in closing. "Furthermore, this list does not incorporate every nuance of guns on screen. However, these are small things that we can do as a community to try and end this national nightmare."