Will The Connecticut School Shooting Hurt 'Django Unchained'?

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by Sergio
December 16, 2012 1:53 PM
15 Comments
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Whenever there's an act of horrific violence, such as a mass shooting, some of us, as well the media, immediately look at Hollywood as a major culprit.

The Matrix was the blame for the Columbine, Colorado shooting. The Dark Knight Rises was the blame for the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting. And now some people are looking at Django Unchained, after this weekend's horrible Sandy Hook school shooting, and thinking, or wondering out loud, whether now is the right time for the film to be released; especially since, not only is the film extremely violent (what Quentin Tarantino film isn't?), but it has an over-the-top, violent climax that takes place on a plantation, where seemingly dozens of people are killed in a bloody gun shootout. Some are saying that Django's release date is rather too close for comfort.

Jamie Foxx himself, during a press junket for the film this weekend in New York, was forced to address the issue and stated that: "We cannot turn our back and say that violence in films or anything that we do doesn't have an influence. It does."

However, Kerry Washington said that she believed that the film's brutal violence serves to educate people on the horrors of slavery. She added that "I do think it's important when we have the opportunity to talk about violence and not just kind of have it as entertainment, but connect to the wrongs, the injustices and the social ills."

Tarantino, for his part, said that he was sick and tired of defending his films every time time some act of violence occurs, and that the blame should fall on the person who committed the crime and not on him.

So what impact will the recent Sandy Hook shooting have on Django? Will people stay away, for fear or feeling that the film is in bad taste, consdering what just happened?

Not likely. People who will go see Django pretty much know what they're going to get. It's hard to imagine that anyone going to see the film is expecting some tame, PG-13 rated, family friendly film. When you're going to see a film made by Tarantino, you know what comes with the territory, and either you go with it or you don't. In the past few days, I have had conversations with friends and other people, about the shootings; and, in the same breath, they talk about how shocking the Sandy Hook incident is, but also that they can't wait to see Django. They're able to separate the two. One has nothing to do with the other.

And besides, comparing the film to the recent shootings is like comparing apples and oranges. The shooting was the work of a depraved madman with seemingly no reason or logic, other then to cause as much pain and sufferring to as many people as possible.

Django is a movie, and a fantasy movie at that. It's make believe, and more importantly, there is a totally different context and reason for why the violence happens in the film. There is a definite cause which results in a definite effect. 

Is it fair to blame movies for violence in real lfe? That argument has been going on for decades. I still remember when Bonnie And Clyde, which was heavily criticized for its violence when it first came out, made the cover of Time magazine in a piece about what impact violence in movies had on society. They couldn't figure out the answer then, and all these many years later, they're still asking the same exact question. Maybe because there is no definite, concrete answer. And, most likely, there never will be one.

So I don't think the shooting will have much of an effect on Django. Besides, in our cynical, 24-hour cable news cycle, searching-for-the-next-hot-lead-story, media driven age, by the time Django comes out, the shootings will be yesterday's half-forgotten headline.

Yes I realize that sounds cold, but who's talking about the Aurora shooting, or the Portand Mall shooting, which just happened last week, today? 

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15 Comments

  • getthesenets | December 18, 2012 1:59 PMReply

    just heard on 1010 wins...studio is being sensitive to the recent shooting incident

    NO RED CARPET or press at the premiere of Django

  • Orville | December 17, 2012 5:52 PMReply

    Actually Columbine was blamed on the shock rocker Marilyn Manson back in 1999 if I remember correctly. Manson was unfairly targeted by the conservative right wing media in the United States. Manson wrote an eloquent essay for Rolling Stone magazine about the tragic school shooting back in 1999.

    The problem isn't the movies the problem as I see it is clearly American society which is insane and so messed up. This violence keeps on repeating itself over and over again in America. People say all the right things and then the American media glorifies the violence, gives the killers press and then it just repeats itself. American society is a circus. The USA needs tougher gun control laws such as Canada and some of the European nations.

  • josh | December 17, 2012 9:43 AMReply

    Kerry Washington:"I do think it's important when we have the opportunity to talk about violence and not just kind of have it as entertainment, but connect to the wrongs, the injustices and the social ills.". this is why actors shouldnt answer comments on social and or political topics that was the most ignorant thing ive ever read .

    Ms washington should learn to stifle herself and not reguritate every little thing that comes to that peanut brain of her's.The fact that she thinks that tarantino's django is and example of the ills of society and an injustices of slavery.I've seen tarantino's more recent films they glamourize violence .Strictly entertainment ,you can tell from the way he does his violence that he's like a college film maker.Everything to the extreme ,tarantino is one of these film makers that likes the smell of his own shit .

    It's obvious that kerry washington is oblivious to this ,Roots was a perfect example of injustices of slave's.It didn't glamourize anything it only put in what was needed because the central theme wasn't about violence it was more about slavery.I'm getting the impression that django will be similar to inglorious basterds.A whole lot of mess not enoug message ,which is fine because its entertainment.It should in no way be looked at as having some kind of social message .Strictly entertainment ,as far as putting blame on hollywood that's the media who does that.This is also why we need to stop worshipping celebrities and film makers and actors and sports stars etc.As tupac shakur said :we don't need any more entertainers,we need more thinkers ,scientists,teachers ,more leaders ,more mother's, fathers we need more of that.We don't need anymore entertainers:

  • Babatunde87 | December 19, 2012 9:39 AM

    I wanted to give this comment some kind of credibility, but I just can't. Your grammar is just way too atrocious...please try again.

  • Vino | December 16, 2012 10:09 PMReply

    Stay focused on making money. Nothing else matters.

  • Monique a Williams | December 16, 2012 9:38 PMReply

    I think the post was right on. People act like there aren't violent acts going on every day and allow mainstream media to dictate which ones they care about, which ones to keep in their psyche. Perhaps CNN should show war footage, show how many families are killed daily at the hands of the military, and get people outraged about that. Cinema is not the culprit as much as the news is.

  • Maggie | December 16, 2012 9:27 PMReply

    Horrible article. YOU should be ashamed.

  • Sim | December 16, 2012 9:10 PMReply

    The short answer to this question is "no". I really doubt this tragedy will significantly hurt Django Unchained. This isn't The Dark Knight or some other movie that people will take the whole family to see. This is a very adult movie and the people who want to watch this kind of thing are clearly not that worried about violence in cinema.

  • T | December 16, 2012 8:59 PMReply

    Please consider taking this blog post down. Or at least changing the title. It's a shameful exploitation and highly insensitive timing. Do the right thing.

  • M | December 16, 2012 8:02 PMReply

    what a stupid, worthless, post this is

  • miktal | December 16, 2012 4:00 PMReply

    I`m sure we all appreciate the effort you all put into this site, but is there any chance we can go eleven seconds without hearing about this film?

  • Justin W | December 16, 2012 2:32 PMReply

    You're right. People can point the blame on Tarantino but it's not going to matter. This film is going to do big business.

  • Mawon | December 16, 2012 2:03 PMReply

    Congratulations to Sergio for writing the year's most pointless, half-assed, irrelevant post. You continue to out-do yourself, sir. Well done.

  • Troy | December 17, 2012 4:31 PM

    Classic, deadspin.com is the only other website where they get traffic solely off people trashing the authors. Crabs are for dinner not to stay in the bucket.

  • sergio | December 16, 2012 2:57 PM

    My pleasure

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