Gun ViolenceLatest News and Opinion
Posted Monday 9/24/18 at 3:53PM EDT
South Park's season premiere to address the normalcy of school shootings
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Wednesday's Season 22 premiere is titled "Dead Kids."
Posted Wednesday 7/18/18 at 11:21PM EDT
Why The Bold Type devoted an episode to guns
“It’s not easy to tell a story about guns, especially right now,” showrunner Amanda Lasher said of Tuesday's episode. Lasher, a member of the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said she and her writers wanted to take the gun debate from the political realm into the personal. “When we first started talking about it, literally every single person in the writers’ room and with the Freeform executives I talked to and NBCUniversal — everyone had a story about, ‘Oh yeah, I found out when I was dating my boyfriend that he had a gun and I won’t let him keep it in the house,'” says Lasher, adding: “We felt really strongly about normalizing those conversations about gun ownership and taking it out of the political so we could make progress on this issue. And as long as we stuck with our guiding light by doing it through the lens of the friendship and the girls’ experience, we thought we would be OK.”
Posted Tuesday 7/17/18 at 1:20PM EDT
Who Is America? gun-rights activist Philip Van Cleave wrote in February he feared that Michael Moore or Sacha Baron Cohen had pranked him
Source: The Daily Beast
Van Cleave, arguably the star of Cohen's "Kill or Be Killed" segment, posted on his group's Facebook page on Feb. 20 that “EXTREMELY WELL FUNDED PROFESSIONALS” had “laid out the red carpet, by providing luxury accommodations, limousine service, and providing a generous monetary allowance to cover meals and other expenses for two days...They use psychological manipulation, as well as lies and tricks to put their victim into comedic situations that subject them to public shame, embarrassment, and ridicule. I believe the intent is to destroy reputations and even lives.” He added: "Because of this and various other odd things I noticed during the interview, I was now convinced that something wasn’t right. This wasn’t real and probably some sort of a set up. I could only think of Hollywood’s threat. At a minimum, it could be a comedy which would play only in Israel, but it could be a more damaging attempt to make a ‘mocumentary,’ by someone like Michael Moore, or, even worse, a Sacha Baron Cohen-esq ‘Borat’-type of shock comedy meant to be devastatingly embarrassing and humiliating to the victim in the crosshairs.”
Posted Monday 7/16/18 at 3:05PM EDT
Sacha Baron Cohen's "Kinder-Guardians" segment was horrible and skin-crawling, but it likely won't have an impact
Who Is America?'s segment on preschoolers using guns was unquestionably distinct from the rest of the episode, says Kathryn VanArendonk. At that moment, she says, "the show suddenly feels barbed and bracing in a stomach-twisting way. It taps into an undercurrent of not just idiocy, but indictment. Not just shock, but real threat. It almost feels like a protest. Except it also raises the same questions as every other comedy that gets lauded for 'destroying' or 'eviscerating' or 'crushing' its target. If Baron Cohen’s goal with the Kinder-Guardians segment is portraying a specific, harmful, outrageous stupidity, then … so what? We already live in a world where the idea of giving guns to preschool teachers is apparently debatable. Is giving the gun to the kids actually absurd enough to shake up popular opinion? Does Baron Cohen’s comedic reach have more cultural sway than John Oliver or Jimmy Kimmel? Is that even the intent? Whatever else Who Is America? may be doing, it’s also proving a potentially inadvertent point: The distance between Baron Cohen’s shock comedy and the world we live in has gotten much smaller since the last time he put on a mustache and traipsed around the country."
- Art gallery owner thinks Cohen's fecal artwork was real because it stunk, adding: "I thought he was a psychological time bomb. I was like, this guy could blow up, so I should just be as respectful as I can."
- The Israeli Weapons Guy is the best comedy character since Chappelle's Show's Blind Black Klansman
- Who Is America? doesn't feel like a completed project: "It feels like the first phase of a big, weird experiment about how this country will react to a show like Who is America?"
- Israeli newspaper Haaretz: "Israel Does Not Actually Arm Preschoolers"
- Trump defender Jeffrey Lord didn't mind being set up by Cohen, saying it will ultimately benefit the president
- Controversial former Inside Amy Schumer writer Kurt Metzger is among Cohen's writers
- Who Is America? reveals that we are a culture that is puts a premium on attention
- Sarah Palin should learn from her Who Is America? experience what real "fake news" is
- A conservative street artist put up an L.A. billboard accusing Cohen of "a touch of stolen valor"
- Who has the most damning appearance on Who Is America?'s first episode?
Posted Monday 7/16/18 at 7:14AM EDT
On Who Is America?, Sacha Baron Cohen's characters feel right at home amid 2018 absurdities
Source: The Ringer
Cohen's new Showtime series had a tough task in 2018 America because the ridiculous and absurd have become mainstream. "Given the tone of American politics these days, getting audiences to laugh at their eccentricities is a tough ask," says Alison Herman. "Merely sharing Cohen’s disgust may not be enough for character comedy to play in 2018, when the average internet user is subjected to a torrent of equally outrageous, disturbingly non-satirical figures every time they open their browsers." Yet Who Is America? manages to work, she says, especially when it's not funny, like in the first episode's segment advocating that kids carry guns. "To ask whether what follows is 'funny' feels almost besides the point," says Herman. "I can’t blame anyone who decides that a nauseating illustration of America’s psychosis is not what they want out of their Sunday night entertainment. Those who stick around, however, are treated to proof positive that the world has finally caught up with Cohen’s oeuvre. The twist is that Cohen’s guises no longer feel hilariously out of place when inserted into everyday life. They feel right at home, baring what ails this country better than any anthropological trend piece about Trump supporters. Just don’t expect a barrel of laughs."
- When Who Is America? is on point like in the "Kill or Be Killed" segment, it's a reminder that some of our emperors have no clothes
- Cohen was the ultimate George W. Bush-era comedy star, so it's a pleasant surprise that Who Is America? is "urgently resonant with our own era"
- Shame was the secret ingredient on Da Ali G Show, but shame is missing on Who Is America?: "It's the difference between shocking and not shocking, between hilarious and simply fleetingly funny"
- Cohen's antics are out of place in 2018 America because "we’re fresh out of shame in this country right now"
- Cohen's political provocations are exhausting and dangerous
- Cohen's Da Ali G Show characters were innocent, but his Who Is America? characters are biased and aggressive with a fierce partisan agenda
- Only the Erran Morad segment worked, and it wasn't shocking because the people interviewed have already said insane things in public
- Who Is America? "exposes toxicity of accommodating what is wrong, or foolish, or weird, or totally insane, because there’s a camera there"
- The opening credits showed Trump mocking a disabled reporter -- perhaps a rebuttal to Sarah Palin saying Cohen "mocked disabled Americans"
- Former GOP congressman Joe Walsh tells CNN how he was tricked: “He’s a funny guy because he gets people to say stupid things. He gets people to say stupid things because he lies to them"
- Reed College didn't know it would be associated with Cohen's fictional Professor Dr. Nira Cain-N’Degeocello
- Ranking Cohen's new characters: Dr. Nira Cain-N’Degeocello is a pastiche of everyone ever on Portlandia
- Nathan for You's Nathan Fielder is listed as a Who Is America? consulting producer
Posted Thursday 6/28/18 at 10:16PM EDT
David Simon lashes out at President Trump while tweeting that two friends are "unaccounted for" in Capital Gazette newspaper shooting
The Wire creator was a reporter at The Baltimore Sun prior to working in television. The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, where five people were shot and killed today, is owned by the The Sun. In response to the shooting, Simon lashed out at Trump for calling the press the "enemy of the people." Simon told one Twitter user who urged him to stop blaming Trump, "Two of my friends are still unaccounted for because they were working in that newsroom as 'enemies of the people' according to this US president." One of those friends was assistant editor Rob Hiaasen, whom Simon later learned died in today's shooting. Simon tweeted of Hiaasen: "Husband, father of three, careful reporter and editor. Committed, lifelong newspaperman and journalist. Fine, wonderful soul." ALSO: CNN decided not to censor the F-word in Anderson Cooper's pre-taped interview with a shooting witness.
Posted Wednesday 6/20/18 at 1:32PM EDT
David and Lauren Hogg recall the Parkland school shooting on The Tonight Show
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
The siblings visited Jimmy Fallon two weeks after he delivered the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School commencement speech to promote their new book #NeverAgain, described as a manifesto of their movement to change gun laws. They said all proceeds of their book will go to charity and taxes.
Posted Monday 6/18/18 at 7:41AM EDT
Parkland high activists David Hogg and Lauren Hogg to visit The Tonight Show
Source: Orlando Sentinel
The siblings' visit on Tuesday comes two weeks after Jimmy Fallon gave the commencement address at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School's graduation ceremony. They are promoting their new book #NeverAgain: A New Generation Draws the Line, which will be released on Tuesday.
Posted Friday 6/01/18 at 6:42PM EDT
Paramount Network pulls the plug on the Heathers reboot before its premiere
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
One month ago today, Paramount Network announced a new July 10 premiere date for Heathers after its original premiere was delayed due to the Parkland school shooting. But in wake of the Santa Fe high school shooting, Paramount Network decided to scrap that premiere date. Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount Network has decided not to air the controversial high school series altogether -- even though Season 2, which would've featured a whole new cast, is almost completely written. Viacom decided that after going dark on its cable channels for 17 minutes in support of Parkland school shooting victims and survivors, airing Heathers would've been contradictory to its values. "This is a high school show, we're blowing up the school, there are guns in the school, it's a satire and there are moments of teachers having guns. It's hitting on so many hot topics," said Keith Cox, Paramount Network president of development and production. "This company can't be speaking out of both sides of its mouth, saying the youth movement is important for us and we've done all these wonderful things to support that and at the same time, we're putting on a show that we're not comfortable with." There are plans to shop the series elsewhere. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the cast and crew was notified of the decision today and that "multiple cast members are relieved that the series will not currently air."
Posted Tuesday 5/22/18 at 10:30PM EDT
Mister Rogers' Neighborhood pioneered speaking to kids about gun violence 50 years ago
Fred Rogers helped kids cope with the death of Robert F. Kennedy in June 1968. Rogers' public television show was only four months old at the time.
Posted Sunday 5/20/18 at 4:34AM EDT
Jimmy Kimmel addresses the Santa Fe High School shooting in a cold open to his show
Kimmel somberly addressed the Santa Fe shooting separately from his show in a three-minute cold open Friday night, airing before his usual Jimmy Kimmel Live! opening credits and possibly filmed without his studio audience. Kimmel later referenced the Santa Fe shooting in his monologue, so Friday's show wasn't pre-taped before the tragedy. (Kimmel doesn't usually tape on Fridays, but he did a special Friday show because he was away for ABC's upfronts in New York City on Monday and Tuesday.) “Once again our leaders are sending their thoughts and prayers,” said Kimmel said. “President Trump said he is ‘with the people of Santa Fe in this tragic hour and will be with them forever’ — except for when it comes time to do something, then he will not be with them — and neither will any of the Congresspeople or governors who don’t ever do anything because they’re fearful that it will hurt them politically.”
Posted Friday 5/18/18 at 11:54PM EDT
Santa Fe High School shooting showed how TV news has become accustomed to covering mass shootings
"The increase in the number of mass shootings has resulted in a kind of template for covering such a horrifying tragedy," says Cynthia Littleton. "Interviews with shaken students and grieving parents, a rush to find biographical details about the suspected shooter and discussions with angry activists railing about the lack of curbs on the availability of guns and ammunition have become a chilling staple of TV."
Posted Friday 5/18/18 at 6:17PM EDT
Netflix cancels 13 Reasons Why premiere event after Santa Fe High School shooting
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Season 2 of the teen Netflix series, which premiered today, includes a storyline on a thwarted school shooting. Netflix decided to cancel an event tonight celebrating the Season 2 premiere after a 17-year-old allegedly opened fire this morning at a high school in southeast Texas, killing nine students and one teacher. "Our hearts are with the victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting, and with all victims of gun violence. In light of today's tragedy, we are canceling the 13 Reasons Why S2 premiere event tonight," said Netflix in a statement. Season 1 of the controversial series set up a few threads revolving around gun violence that were to be continued in Season 2.
Posted Friday 5/11/18 at 4:18PM EDT
Christina Grimmie's family releases a new song of hers in honor of Mother's Day
The late alum of The Voice, who was shot and killed in June 2016, recorded the song "Little Girl" in honor of her mother.
Posted Monday 4/23/18 at 5:51AM EDT
CBS NFL analyst regrets posting a photo of him holding a gun with his daughter and her prom date
Retired longtime NFL kicker Jay Feely, who works as an NFL sideline reporter and color analyst for CBS Sports, tweeted "I was joking." But in wake of the Florida school shooting, the joke was seen as being in poor taste.