A group of 200 actors, producers and writers signed a pledge June 13 agreeing to "model norms and visions that guide us to a safer America free of gun violence," as prescribed by the Brady Organization. "Hollywood has modeled positive culture change before: Seatbelt use, smoking, teen pregnancy, marriage equality," the open letter reads. "Now, as America's gun violence epidemic worsens, is the time to undertake a responsibility in storytelling depicting firearms and gun safety."
Schumer and Rhimes were joined in their support by Jimmy Kimmel, Ted Lasso's Bill Lawrence, Judd Apatow, Modern Family's Steve Levitan and more, who vowed to do their part in enacting gun law reform. The letter acknowledged that politicians are responsible for making legal reforms, but stated, "We also acknowledge that stories have the power to effect change."
In addition, they clarified that this isn't an outright ban on featuring guns on-screen. "We are asking writers, directors and producers to be mindful of on-screen gun violence and model gun safety best practices," the letter reads, before outlining three "small things" creatives can do when making TV shows and movies.
The first action item in the letter is making a "conscious effort to show characters locking their guns safely and making them inaccessible to children." Secondly, the organization asks filmmakers to "have at least one conversation during pre-production regarding the way guns will be portrayed on screen and consider alternatives that could be employed without sacrificing narrative integrity." Lastly, the letter requests they "limit scenes including children and guns, bearing in mind that guns are now the leading cause of death for children and adolescents."
While the Brady Organization understands that these three items can't replace legislation and do not "incorporate every nuance of guns on screen," it's a start.
This new pledge comes just weeks after 19 students and two teachers were killed by a lone gunman at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24, as well as the May 14 shooting at Tops Friendly Markets store, which left 10 people dead.
Numerous actors and popular figures have become involved in advocating for gun reform, including Matthew McConaughey, who visited the White House to make an impassioned speech on the need for stricter gun laws.