Sen. Manchin Applauds Producer Weinstein's Choice to not Glamorize Gun Violence

by Tony Rutherford , HNN Entertainment Editor
Sen. Manchin
Sen. Manchin

Producer Harvey Weinstein has teamed with Quentin Tarantino (“Grindhouse,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Kill Bill”)  told CNN’s  Piers Morgan on Jan 17.

Revealing that he and his family  live only  20 minutes  from Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., Weinstein  has no issue with real-to-life films, such as “Lone Survivor,” but told Morgan (an advocate of tighter gun controls) that he’s ignored screen violence for years as “someone else’s fight.” The deaths of 20 children and six adults put the issue “in my own backyard.”

“I have to just choose movies that aren’t violent or as violent as they used to  be. And I know for me personally I can’t continue to do that. The change  starts here. I has already.”

He did leave in the so-called artistic merit condition, though: “I’m  not going to make some crazy action movie just to blow up people  and exploit people just for the sake of making it.”

However, the short list of “films in production” include sequels to some of those flicks that have churned out excessive violence. Furthermore, his current project stars Meryl Streep , as a Ms. Smith Goes to Washington styled character who advocates against the National Rifle Association.

That’s why Sen. Manchin, himself caught on a tightrope for advocating more through bun ownership background checks explained his stance on gun owner background research before stating “I’m glad [Weinstein] said he’s not going to make violent films anymore.” 

Manchin believes that through the film industry and other cultural violence, “kid’s today are immune (to violence) by playing a video game where they are shooting policemen and other people in authority.” 

Sen. Manchin Applauds Producer Weinstein's Choice to not Glamorize Gun Violence
Courtesy Universal Pictures

When governor of West Virginia, Manchin assisted in providing an  incentive for the “We Are Marshall” crew to stay three weeks not two in the Mountain State. Warner Bros. completed most of the lensing in Atlanta due to tax incentives , adequate sound stages, and airport access. After West Virginia had been bypassed, Pam Haynes (WV Film Commission) and he championed incentive legislation that has been credited with bringing an expansion of “on location” interest to West  Virginia.

The inventive requires that the culture of the state receive a positive treatment, which is why “Buckwild” and “Appalachian Outlaws” completed their series without state assistance.

Referring to the incentive to shoot in WV, Sen. Manchin said following a Huntington, WV forum, “The film industry is a tremendous opportunity for all of us in WV . We saw what We Are Marshall did not just for the pride but what it did for the economy.”


Ironically, a delicate film genre pendulum may be motivating the movie mogul , too.  Recall that screen excess (violence, sexual scenes, vulgar language) goes in cycles.  For example, a  distant shot of a topless motorcycle rider in “Vanishing Point” has been (depending on the re-release date) rated PG or R.  Film violence has collided against the slow torture and sadism barrier. Think “Hostel “ or one of the latter "Saw" sequels. .

Since the random shootings, including the one at a cinema complex in Colorado, unnecessary violence has been put on the politically correct platter. Prior to that, the women’s movement had diluted mainstream depictions of intimacy in the name of sexual exploitation or political correctness.

A glance at two of the Best Picture nominees suggest (since Hollywood  tends to imitate that which was profitable) include “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “American Hustler,” both of which contain more than glimpses of nudity. Arguably “Wolf” necessitated a decadent atmosphere, but I’d argue that some of the sex glamorizing scenes could have made their point without close ups, extended shots, or a daring glimpse.

Decaying RKO Keith's in Fllushing, NY, home of Harvey Weinstein
Decaying RKO Keith's in Fllushing, NY, home of Harvey Weinstein

“Nymphomaniac “ gained some success at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Millions of readers await the release of  “Fifty Shades of Grey,” starring  Jamie Doman and Dakota Johnson slated for a Valentine’s Day 2015 debut. The latter focuses on the intimate relationship between Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (Dornan), a kinky billionaire playboy.

Weinstein has been accused of a lack of sincerity in several reports. One has to admit, he’s right on the curve to churn out free buzz on the talk show circuit. We’ll have to watch his “Sin City,” “Halloween” and other sequels to see who’s correct. And, he has yet another aid for a little flip-flopping --- the currently announced ones were already in the can, so they don’t count.

Sen. Manchin took the opportunity to re-started his unpopular gun background check position, which has him likely facing Rep. Shelly Moore-Capito in a race for the full six year senate seat. During the forum, too, sound spectators received favorable applause, when someone asked him to voluntarily come back to the state and run again for Governor.

Emphasizing that background checks at a gun show does not equal “gun control,” the former WV governor, explained, “ It makes sense (that) I’m not going to sell my gun to a stranger, somebody that has been a criminal , is mentally incompetent , or to an irresponsible family member.”

He logically asserted, “If I go to a gun show, don’t you think don’t you think I want to know whether the person has been a criminal or is insane?  If I’m on the internet, would you want to know?  I do,” he responded, stressing again, “that’s a background check, not gun control.”


By the way, Mr. Weinstein,  since you grew up in Queens and Flushing, the rotting RKO Thomas Lamb theatre could use some help from “angels” in America like you.

Comments powered by Disqus