The Shmooze

Harvey Weinstein Calls for Film Violence Summit

By Michael Kaminer

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Is Harvey Weinstein planning to spend the rest of his career making romantic comedies?

The legendary movie mogul behind “some of the most violent movies ever made” is apparently feeling contrite after the Colorado massacre of filmgoers attending a midnight screening of the latest “Batman” installment, the New York Daily News reports.

“I think as filmmakers we should sit down — the Marty Scorseses, the Quentin Tarantinos and hopefully all of us who deal in violence in movies — and discuss our role in that,” Weinstein told the Huffington Post.

Hollywood can’t “shirk our responsibility” for potentially inspiring the rampage in Aurora, Colo., that killed 12 people and wounded 58 others.

“It’s a question that I wrestle with all the time,” said Weinstein, who produced blood-drenched hits like “Kill Bill Vols. 1 & 2,” “Inglourious Basterds” and “Reservoir Dogs.”

Industry response to Weinstein’s chest-beating has been, to put it mildly, somewhat skeptical. “If he wants to show some especially brutal movie clips to kick off such a summit, he could start with his very own slate,” wrote the Los Angeles Times. “Over the next few months, Weinstein Co. will release several movies that either have — or are very likely to contain — some extraordinarily violent scenes, including ‘Killing Them Softly’ with Brad Pitt and ‘Lawless’ with Tom Hardy, both of which screened at the Cannes Film Festival in May and are coming soon to U.S. theaters.”

Weinstein, who is set co-host a fundraiser for President Obama in Greenwich, Conn., on August 6, declined to criticize the president directly for shying away from a fight over gun control, the Huffington Post said. “I don’t think he’s timid,” Weinstein commented. “I think he’s got deep personal beliefs. I don’t have to agree with everything a candidate does to support him.”


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