Will there be a post-Sandy Hook backlash to 'Django Unchained'?
Since the December 14th Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting political figures and activists have called for immediate action on gun control. They believe that stricter laws on gun control could have stopped this tragedy and can prevent others in the future.
Actor Samuel L. Jackson does not agree.
“I don’t think it’s about more gun control,” Jackson said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “I grew up in the South with guns everywhere and we never shot anyone. This [shooting] is about people who aren’t taught the value of life.”
He feels that parents and role models who instill a positive foundation in children can have more of an effect than legislation.
Jackson co-stars in the upcoming film Django Unchained alongside Oscar winner Jamie Foxx as a slave-turned-bounty hunter and Kerry Washington who plays Foxx’s wife in the film.
Django Unchained has received strong praise from film critics. And the film has already received five Golden Globe nominations, but the violence in the film has stirred up considerable controversy.
In the wake of the tragic shooting deaths of 20 children in Newtown, Connecticut, the timing for such a brutal film makes many uneasy.
The film’s studio, The Weinstein Company, canceled the premiere of Django Unchained on Monday as a result of the shooting, according to Reuters.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the tragedy in Newtown, CT and in this time of national mourning we have decided to forgo our scheduled event,” a spokesperson for The Weinstein Company said in a statement. “However, we will be holding a private screening for the cast and crew and their friends and families.”
Similarly, the premiere of Tom Cruise’s action film Jack Reacher has been postponed following the shooting as well.
“Due to the terrible tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, and out of honor and respect for the families of the victims whose lives were senselessly taken, we are postponing tomorrow’s Pittsburgh premiere of Jack Reacher,” stated a release from Paramount Pictures released late Friday night. “Our hearts go out to all those who lost loved ones.”
Django Unchained director Quentin Tarantino is tired of being forced to defend his the violent nature of his work.
“I just think you know there’s violence in the world, tragedies happen, blame the playmakers,” Tarantino said to BBC. “It’s a Western. Give me a break.”
Tarantino believes the blame should fall on those who commit the crime.
Jamie Foxx disagrees with both Jackson and Tarantino.
“We cannot turn our back and say that violence in films or anything that we do doesn’t have a sort of influence,” Foxx said to the Associated Press. “It does.”
Only time will tell if Django Unchained, which opens nationwide in theaters on Christmas Day, will appeal to audiences post-Sandy Hook shooting.
Follow Marquise Francis on Twitter @mKfly