Since when did violence against children evolve into an entertainment offering from Hollywood? As a produced screenwriter and published author, I for one am in favor of freedom of speech, but what good can come from a movie where our children are kidnapped, abused and/or murdered?Every time Hollywood makes one of these films where children are the objects of terror disguised as a story for entertainment, are we not simply teaching the sick-minded on how to be a more efficient sicko? Are we not teaching the sick-minded on how NOT to get caught by illustrating how we captured the bad guy in these works of fiction?
As a father of a 2 year old with another on the way, I am ashamed of Hollywood and their choice to glorify children in violent jeopardy. Which brings me to the upcoming film Prisoners, brought to us from Fed Ex founder, Fred Smith’s company Alcon Entertainment and Warner Brothers Pictures.
This film begins as two families gather for the Thanksgiving holiday. After dinner, the daughter of Hugh Jackman’s character and her best friend, daughter of Terrance Howard’s character, go outside to play and later, kidnapped. The story is every parent’s nightmare and I believe a film like this has no right to be considered entertainment.
Some might argue that this is a story of good verses evil as Jake Gylenhaal’s character, the FBI Agent assigned to find the kidnapped girls, overcomes the evil sicko in the end. To that, I say I don’t care if they get the sicko in the end, using our children in a scenario like this is unforgivable.
If you are wondering why Academy Award winners and nominated actors (Viola Davis, Hugh Jackman, Maria Bello, Terrance Howard, and Jake Gyllenhaal) would lend their name and talent to a film glorifying violence against children, the reason is simple; MONEY. Talent agents are in place to get their clients the biggest offers they can and when a studio throws millions of dollars at them, they somehow lose their minds and any sense of moral aptitude and accept the offers.
To these well-respected actors, Viola Davis, Hugh Jackman, Maria Bello, Terrance Howard, and Jake Gyllenhaal, I say SHAME ON YOU. Do you think because the story ‘gets the bad guy in the end’ that it’s okay for you to support a story of this nature? Are you not parents yourselves? Do you not cringe at the very notion of someone kidnapping and doing god-knows-what to your child? If you answered yes and still lend your name and talent to a film like this, again I say, SHAME ON YOU.
Maybe I am overacting and should leave the studios alone because they ‘obviously’ know what the public wants. I mean, just the other day, I heard people at Starbucks talking about all the quality entertainment Hollywood provides in our movie theaters and on our televisions.
When will studio executives in Hollywood realize the ideal ‘IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME?’ Why not build something that engages, inspires and uplifts the audience? I’m not saying every film you make should be warm and fuzzy with a happy ending, I’m simply saying it’s time for you to leave our children alone. It is hard enough for them to grow up in the world we have created without you feeding the voyeuristic gluttony of the sick and twisted in the pursuit of your bottom line.
Eric DelaBarre is an award-winning filmmaker and author of the adventure novel, Saltwater Taffy. Copyright 2013