New Rule: Hollywood’s Culture of Violence | Real Time with Bill Maher | Transcript

Hollywood is the wokest place on earth in every other area of social responsibility, but when it comes to the unbridled romanticization of gun violence – crickets.
New Rule: Hollywood's Culture of Violence | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

Original air date : June 10, 2022

[cheers and applause] And finally, new rule. Now that we live in an age of Uber corporate responsibility, where every large company in America bends over backwards to get on the politically correct side of every issue Hollywood has to tell us: why doesn’t that include gun violence?

♪ ♪ [Gunshots] ♪ ♪

When liberals scream “do something!” After a mass shooting, why aren’t we also dealing with the fact that the average American kid sees 200,000 acts of violence on screens before the age of 18, and that according to the FBI, one of the warning signs of a potential school shooter is a fascination with violence-filled entertainment? It’s funny Hollywood is the wokest place on earth in every other area of social responsibility — they have intimacy coordinators on set to chaperone sex scenes, they hire sensitivity readers to go through and edit scripts. Disney stood up to the “don’t say gay” law, another studio spent $10 million to digitally remove Kevin Spacey from a movie — but when it comes to the unbridled romanticization of gun violence — crickets. Weird — the only thing we don’t call a “trigger” is the one that actually has a trigger.

[Applause]

If you make a movie today, you can’t show bullying, fat-shaming, slut-shaming, girl chasing, gay baiting, ethnic stereotypes, or underage hook-ups where drinking was involved — you know, what we used to call “comedies.”

[Laughter]

But those things are bad and everyone knows you can’t “platform” bad things. You know what you can still platform? One guy — who’s the hero — getting over a grudge by mowing down a multitude of human beings.

[Gunshots]

♪ ♪

[‘ gunshots]

Because no impressionable young male would ever imitate that. Now, the usual suspects on the far left will say that I’m delivering some sort of “conservative” rant here, or that I’m undermining gun control — no, it’s neither, it’s just what’s real. There’s a pie chart of why mass shootings happen and we don’t exactly know how much of each of the pieces is responsible, but the major ones are: mental health, that is, broken young men who feel like losers and want the world to hurt like they do; easy access to guns; kids having smart phones which makes losers feel even worse because of the bullying and all the fake lives that look better than theirs; and — yes, and — crazy amounts of gun violence in movies and tv. We don’t show movie characters smoking anymore because it might look cool and influence children, but you’re telling me these cool dudes don’t influence them?

♪ ♪ ♪ ♪

They say the success of Top Gun: Maverick will be a great boost to navy pilot recruitment — great, but then you can’t say, “it’s just a movie!” When it’s this:

[gunshots]

That was cool.

[Laughter]

And it’s not just the idea presented over and over and over again that guns are the best solution to life’s problems — it’s why the hero is using a gun. They call them “action” movies, but they should be called “revenge” movies. Because that’s the plot of every one of them. And there’s a sick similarity in the revenge fantasies Hollywood turns out and those of school shooters.

I want revenge. I want them to know that death is coming, and there’s nothing they can do to stop it.

Bill: Here’s a list of just of the action movies that have vengeance in the title. Blind vengeance. Bitter vengeance. Cry vengeance. Sweet vengeance. Dark vengeance. Fast vengeance. Blue vengeance. Forced vengeance. Heated vengeance. Naked vengeance. Acts of vengeance. Deadly vengeance. Out for vengeance. Bound to vengeance. Fistful of vengeance. Streets of vengeance. Angel of vengeance. Ministry of vengeance. With a vengeance. Code name vengeance. Fort vengeance. Kickboxer vengeance. Ninja vengeance. And taste of vengeance.

[Laughter]

My least favorite Chinese restaurant.

[Laughter]

[cheers and applause]

Vengeance has been in more movies than pets in sunglasses.

[Laughter]

There’s even a movie called “I am vengeance: retaliation,” even though retaliation means vengeance. It’s like calling your movie “I am pregnant: expecting.”

[Laughter]

[cheers and applause]

Getting revenge on them that wronged you is what happens — it’s all that happens — in movies that are made for, and loved by, young men. It’s the male version of getting your groove back or Meryl Streep getting a big kitchen.

[Laughter]

Like every school shooter, our movie heroes are grievance collectors, and when it comes to “action” movies, there’s one story: “he was a nice guy, but they pushed him too far and now it’s on.” “They took my daughter!” “They killed my father!” “They killed my fiancé!” “They killed my family!” “They killed my family again!” “They killed my puppy!”

[Laughter]

All of which doesn’t just create a culture of violence, but a culture of justified violence. Liberals hated Kyle Rittenhouse, but somehow the liberal capital of the world is okay with making 500 movies about vigilantes. They hate it when gun people say “it takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun” but then they endlessly produce movies with that exact plot.

[Applause]

Thanks, one guy.

[Applause]

Now, am I saying don’t make these movies? No, not at all, I’m never for censorship or organizing society around what crazy people might do. But don’t look me in the eye and tell me this isn’t a big part of the problem. Every bad idea a kid can get about how to handle feeling abused and disrespected is in all these movies — including the ridiculous cliché that if you are the “good guy” — the avenging angel who’s doing all the killing — you never get shot, and if you do, it’s nothing. This is how the bad guys get shot in movies:

[gunshots]

[laughter]

Don’t applaud that.

This is how heroes get shot: it’s nothing, you just put a little gauze on it, it’s nothing. It’s like a birthday punch. That’s the message from the people who hate guns the loudest. You might have to sit next to somebody at the ambulance with a blanket.

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