Sunday, December 23, 2012

An Open Letter to Hollywood Producer Steve Tisch on My Open Letter to MPAA Christopher Dodd on Getting Hollywood Studios to take out all scenes of guns and guns being fired in future movies as a wake up call about Gun Violence in America

Dear Steve,

Long ago, we used to talk about movies and books and theater at college. Remember?

Now I write this open letter to you in hope that you can help my letter to MPAA chief Chris Dodd find a place in the national conversation about gun control. My campaign is not about politics or laws, but about the culture. And I know you understand this, my old friend. We are in our 60s now. Rewind to when we were 18 years old. Remember?

Steve, this is what I wrote to Senator Dodd:

Dear Mr. Dodd,

I recently read a news story on in which you, as chairman of the MPAA, said Hollywood is ready to participate in a meaningful dialogue about gun violence after the Sandy Hook Massacre in Newtown, Conn.

You are from Connecticut. I am from Massachusetts, originally, although I am now living in Asia, far from the violent gun culture of America.

Mr. Dodd, I grew up on movies. I went to college with people who are now film producers in Hollywood and overseas. I went to college with people who are now famous actors in Hollywood.

I love Hollywood, and I love movies, from "The Ten Commandments," which I saw when I was about 8 years old, to the recent release of that Jean Valjean flick. So I write this letter to you as a friend of Hollywood and with the hope that maybe something can be done to take guns and gun scenes out of future Hollywood movies -- on a voluntary studio basis, of course.

There, I said it. I am serious. I am not Jonathan Swift of yore with a "Modest Proposal" for eating babies to solve the hunger crisis in Ireland. No, I am a modern American man who loves movies, and yet I feel that the time has come to rethink the way we make and show our filmed entertainment.

As you know, Mr. Dodd, the Sandy Hook shootings also sparked calls from your old Senate colleague Jay Rockefeller for stricter regulations to protect children from violent images on television, videogames and other media.

The Wrap quoted you this way: "Those of us in the motion-picture and television industry want to do our part to help America heal. We stand ready to be part of the national conversation."

Mr. Dodd, I live in Asia now. Every night I watch movies on TV here, and in my channel surfing I find plenty of Hollywood movies – and nine out of 10 involve scenes of guns and people firing guns. These movies show a very violent gun culture to the rest of the world. Surely we can find a way to stop this and still make creative, crowd-pleasing flicks. I believe we can. If there is a vision and if there is a will. You must lead the way.

I am calling my citizens' lobby group on this issue SGIH, for Stop Guns in Hollywood.''

Steve, can you help?


Danny Bloom


Films with Steve Tisch: Pierre Pierre - 2013

Hope Springs - 2012

The Back-up Plan - 2010

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 - 2009

Knowing - 2009

Seven Pounds - 2008

The Pursuit of Happyness - 2006

The Weather Man - 2005

Alex & Emma - 2003

Looking for an Echo - 2000

Snatch. - 2000

Mission Extreme - 2000

Wayward Son - 1999

American History X - 1998

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels - 1998

Nico the Unicorn - 1998

The Postman - 1997

Wild America - 1997

Dear God - 1996

The Long Kiss Goodnight - 1996

The People Next Door - 1996

Corrina, Corrina - 1994

Forrest Gump - 1994

Freshman Dorm - 1992

Keep the Change - 1992

Afterburn - 1992

Vidiots - 1991

CBS Schoolbreak Special - 1991

Judgment - 1990

Bad Influence - 1990

Heart Condition - 1990

Heart of Dixie - 1989

Out on the Edge - 1989

Dirty Dancing - 1988

Hot to Trot - 1988

Big Business - 1988

Evil in Clear River - 1988

In Love and War - 1987

Soul Man - 1986

Triplecross - 1986

Call to Glory - 1984-1985

Silence of the Heart - 1984

The Burning Bed - 1984

Call to Glory - 1984

Calendar Girl Murders - 1984

Deal of the Century - 1983

Risky Business - 1983

Something So Right - 1982

Prime Suspect - 1982

Homeward Bound - 1980

Coast to Coast - 1980

No Other Love - 1979

Almost Summer - 1978

Outlaw Blues - 1977

The Missing Are Deadly - 1975

Brother's Justice - 2010

Seinfeld - 1995

Cry Uncle - 1971

Such Good Friends - 1971

Dirty Dancing - 1989

The Mirakle - 2005

Entourage - 2011

Super Bowl XLII - 2008

Who Is Alan Smithee? - 2002

The 67th Annual Academy Awards - 1995

NOTE: In 1964, during his first visit to Los Angeles, 15 year old Steven Tisch, before he went to Tufts in 1967 and by chance ended up meeting Dan Bloom, the author of this Open Letter,  was taken by his parents to a party hosted by actress Polly Bergen and her husband, legendary agent-producer Freddie Fields. Movie stars were no doubt abundant that night, but Tisch remembers only the couple’s home—an august neo-Georgian redbrick mansion in Beverly Hills. It’s a favorite story: “I walked in and was staggered by its style and regal quality,” he recalls. “This was Hollywood. I knew it was the kind of house I would like to live in one day. I guess somebody heard me—because that’s the house I live in today.”

Tisch, who went on to become one of the town’s most successful producers (Risky Business, Forrest Gump, and The Pursuit of Happyness are among his credits), acquired the property in 1997.

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