Chicks and ducks and geese better scurry, because the latest producer of “Oklahoma!” Is taking the play “gun neutral.”
Granted, when Curly McLain was courting Laurey Williams in the movie, he was wearing a sidearm, as was fitting for the era and the environs. It was the early 1900s on the frontier after all. And Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein stayed true to history by incorporating a fairly accurate portrayal of firearm use at the time. Well, they must be rolling over in their graves now that modern-day producer Eva Price has decided to make a public statement against guns.
During the Sundance Film Festival, Price announced that for every gun prop that appears in stage, the producers will make a donation to anti-gun groups. “Just because a particular story calls for the presence of a particular weapon, that doesn’t mean we have to remain complacent in America’s gun-violence epidemic,” Price said. “Helping to destroy firearms that shouldn’t be in circulation is both a privilege and a responsibility.”
But it’s OK for her, and her cast and crew to make money off the production of a play in which firearms have a legitimate place?
The Gun Neutral Initiative was announced by Level Forward, a company co-founded by heiress Abigail Disney and Adrienne Baker, last year. It was advanced as a way for Hollywood to make up for the fact that the film industry has been glamorizing gun play for so long. But, is it really? Or is it more likely that it’s just a publicity stunt by an industry known for getting its fame carrying out just such stunts as part of its everyday business doings?
We’d think the entertainment industry could find a more authentic approach to negating all the years it has made money depicting the misuse of firearms. As it is, the idea of making a nominal donation to the likes of Michael Bloomberg’s gun-control efforts seems more than a little disingenuous.