The issue of violence in the media is raising its head again after a conservative watchdog group condemned Hollywood for promoting stricter gun controls while at the same time portraying excessive gun violence on screen. A study by the Culture and Media Institute between December 1-7 found that some of televisions highest-rated shows featured at least 145 acts of violence, including 101 involving guns and 39 deaths.
The major culprits were The Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy and NCIS: Los Angeles which "featured such lengthy and significant gun battles that it was impossible to determine the number of participants." The Walking Dead earned the top spot after boasting 20 acts of violence in the mid-season finale, despite the researches only taking into account violence committed against live humans.
This report comes as the U.S prepares to mark the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre and once again raises the issue of whether television glamorizes violence.
The report states:
Americans can expect to hear demands for gun control from sanctimonious Hollywood stars, just as they did in the wake of the shooting. Their demands were hypocritical then, and they’re even more hypocritical now.
Dan Gainor, MRC VP of business and culture, added:
We're coming up on the one-year anniversary of Sandy Hook and we're seeing this incredible volume of violence, and we saw it before Sandy Hook and we've seen it all year since. Talk about tone-deaf. Quickly after Newtown, Hollywood released their video about how guns are bad. And now they’ve had a year to clean up their act, and TV is still a bloodbath.
We've been having this debate about violence in the media for decades. From the video nasties of the 1980s right through to video games today, people have been quick to jump on the bandwagon condemning violence in pop culture and the destructive effects it can have on society.
However, it's narrow-minded and self-defeating to blame shows like The Walking Dead for encouraging people to commit violent acts. TWD is undoubtedly a bloody show, but at no point does it glorify violence. Every brutal act has consequences that are normally far worse than the violence itself and the characters then have to live with the choices they've made.
Do people with violent and anti-social tendencies watch The Walking Dead? Almost definitely. Do show's like TWD make normal people become violent? Absolutely not.
I really want to hear your opinion on this difficult and controversial subject. Do you think TV show's like The Walking Dead are too violent? Drop your thoughts in the comment section below.