Dear Hollywood, the Entertainment Industry and Video Game Producers,
I am writing this letter to every producer and director in Hollywood. I am writing this letter to every writer, to every actor and to every actress.
I am writing this missive to TV show producers, to directors and to writers.
I am writing this plea to the gaming industry.
I am writing this humble but passionate request to the sponsors who pay for movies, television shows and games.
Please listen; please read; and please respond.
As a mother, as a grandmother, and as a woman who loves America deeply, my heart is broken by the shootings that happened last week in Parkland, Florida. 17 vibrant and hopeful people lost their lives when a gunman opened fire in their own high school. Teachers were gunned down. Scholars were assassinated. Future leaders were violently killed in America.
I know that this ugly problem is multi-faceted and that there are no "easy" answers; however, I do believe that there are answers that can prevent a mass shooting such as this from happening again.
I have to believe it. I must.
I happen to believe that the true answers America is searching for will never be found in a political candidate.
And believe me, America does need some answers. America desperately needs answers that will never come from an editorial, from Congress or from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Some of the answers to this very confusing and devastating problem are found in the solutions that the mental health community can offer and some can be discovered in the security that needs to be addressed in our public school system.
The breakdown of the family has contributed greatly to this horrific dilemma and then there are the politicians who should humbly but personally take responsibility as well.
Every congressman, every senator and every member of the president's White House staff should visit the grieving parents of these beloved children and hear their pain.
The answers are vast, the questions are numerous, and the blame enormous.
However, as the producers, directors, writers, actors and actresses who create movies—you are not without blame!
America has raised an entire generation of young people in a culture that has taught that when you have a problem, a gun will solve it.
Your movies have sent the message that if you don't like the hand you have been dealt in life, well then, just shoot somebody!
We have modeled by the scripts, by the themes and by the visual images of television series and of award-winning movies that violence is an acceptable and even applauded lifestyle.
Hollywood—stop it! Just stop it!
Take responsibility, all of you in the entertainment industry, and change your message.
Change your message before one more innocent young person is murdered.
Hollywood—directors, producers, actors, actresses, writers—when you look at your hands today, you may just see a drop of blood or two.
I am appealing to the mothers and fathers who are producers and directors in Hollywood. I ask you to never again make another movie that glorifies violence.
I am appealing to the mothers and to the fathers who are actors and actresses in the film industry and in the television industry. I implore you to refuse scripts that tout guns as the answer.
I am begging cameramen and camerawomen who love children to walk off the sets of violent movies.
I am beseeching screenwriters and television writers who have ever felt the sweet arms of a child around their necks to take every act of gratuitous violence out of every script and re-write it.
I am calling to the gaming industry and asking you to take responsibility. Lives are more valuable than money. Stop creating games that recreate violence.
I am adjuring the sponsors of movies, television shows and the gaming industry to stop the flow of money to visual images and themes of violence.
Stop it. Just stop it!
Nothing will change until we all change.
Will you change, Hollywood? Will you take personal responsibility and choose to send a message of hope and honor rather than embracing themes of violence and bloodshed?
Will you change, gaming industry? Will you choose virtue over vice and meaning over money? Will you?
Every producer who has ever produced a violent movie should attend the funeral of the well-loved Alyssa Alhadeff and the courageous Scott Beigel and the sweet Cara Loughran.
Every director who has ever included an assassination or a murder in a movie scene should humbly attend the funeral of the beloved Martin Duque Anguiano and the scholar and athlete Nicholas Dworet and the bubbly Gina Montalto.
Every writer who has written a script that sent a message that carnage is acceptable should attend the funeral of the basketball player Luke Hoyer, the heroic Aaron Feis and the positive and loving Joaquin Oliver.
Every cameraman and camerawoman who served as an accomplice to a crime splashed across a movie screen or a TV screen should attend the funeral of the beautiful Jaime Guttenberg or the brave Christopher Hixon.
Every member of the gaming industry who has made millions of dollars by promoting violence should attend the funeral of the compassionate Alaina Petty, the angelic Meadow Pollack or the friendly Helena Ramsey.
Every actor or actress who has ever appeared in a movie that glorified violence should attend the funeral of the musical Alexander Schachter, the brilliant Carmen Schentrup or the patriotic Peter Wang.
The pain that these families are bearing is inhuman and devastating. Let's save another family from ever enduring this pain again.
Hollywood—writers, directors, producers, actors, actresses, cameramen, camerawomen, gaming industry—how wonderful to know that you can change the world. You can choose the message you send to a vulnerable world.
I ask you with every cell in my broken heart to reevaluate your motivation and your message. Children's lives are at stake.
Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written eight books, including, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart, Defiant Joy!, Holy Estrogen!, No More Ordinary, Refined, Joy for All Seasons, Let There Be Joy! and Pass the Joy, Please! which releases on February 1, 2018. Her teaching DVD, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart, won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming. You can also listen to Carol's "Jolt of Joy" program daily on the Charisma Podcast Network. Connect with Carol or inquire about her speaking to your group at justjoyministries.com.
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