From the Editor: Maybe They Just Don't Understand

posted on March 22, 2023
Frank Miniter

The opening sentence from a article, which was picked up by news outlets around the country, read: “Julianne Moore thinks that violent movies are ‘not to blame’ for gun crimes.”

No doubt the actress has a point, as it is difficult to correlate violence in movies with the thefts of guns. Oh, I know, I am (as editors will) taking the celebrity reporter who wrote this too literally—“gun crimes,” to such a politically correct scribe, means “criminal violence with guns.” It’s a not-so-clever way for such “reporters” to insinuate that guns are a problem in society, not violent criminals.

But, even with that aside, this lede buries the story. 

Moore, an actress who has both had a gun in her hands in a lot of movies—Assassins (1995), Hannibal (2001) and Next (2007)—and has long been a gun-control activist for various groups, said something much more telling.

“If there is something you care about you feel you need to take action. So everything I’ve done politically has been about how I feel personally. A job is a job, but as a citizen you have a responsibility to participate in a community,” said Moore.

This isn’t just a convenient dodge of responsibility; saying “a job is a job, but …” is actually a mechanism to both avoid accountability for her actions, while also deadening her mind. With such a proclamation, she no longer has to think. She can then feel virtuous even as she participates in violent movies and advocates for policies that would disarm law-abiding people while leaving real bad guys armed. 

Moore has virtue-signaled herself into an irresponsible, unthinking mind. That doesn’t make her unusual in Hollywood, but shouldn’t a 62-year-old actress have learned a few things along the way? If she has social responsibility—and she says she understands that much—then doesn’t she also have a responsibility to think? 

As the old saying goes, “It is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and prove it.” And perhaps she should have remained silent; but then, it would have been better if she actually looked into the causes she chooses to back.

Doing so in Hollywood is not unheard of. Dean Cain, who starred as Superman and has done so much more, tells America’s 1st Freedom that he looks for films that tell American stories he can get behind. Meanwhile, he has learned a lot about the nature of our freedom.

This isn’t to say that actors should only take roles that promote causes they believe in or something—what a boring Hollywood that would be—but it is to say that they should think. If, say, Anthony Hopkins played Hannibal again, as he did alongside Julianne Moore, and then were asked about how the part might impact people, and he replied, “Hannibal is a sadistic, but scary-smart sociopath. It was a challenge to play him. But then, people need to realize there is evil in the world.” We’d all go, “Yeah, that sounds right.” But if Hopkins said, “A job is just a job. I take no responsibility for how I earn my paycheck,” we’d all take a disappointed step back with the surety that this actor is an unthinking fool; like Mathew McConaughey showed on the campaign trail, he doesn’t understand much.

So yes, even Hollywood does have some social responsibility; getting there just takes more thought than some of them can manage.


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