The popular characters hit the cineplex this summer in Suicide Squad and Jason Bourne, guns in hand, their marksmanship a telltale sign that film fans were in for a bloody good time.
But as violent headlines — and a raging political debate on gun control — dominate the news, Hollywood has found itself battling accusations of hypocrisy.
In the wake of tragic mass shootings and police attacks, many found Universal’s marketing of Matt Damon’s famous CIA assassin aiming a gun upsetting and insensitive. Girls writer/producer Tami Sagher Instagrammed a shot of a Bourne subway ad with the gun image ripped down, saying “Hey, New Yorkers, what if we do some peeling and get rid of the guns in the Jason Bourne subway ads. So tired of guns.” Her star Lena Dunham responded: “Good idea … Let’s go!”
Damon accepted the criticism. “I get not wanting to see a picture of a gun right now,” Damon told E! News.
Not that violence is hurting the box office: Billion-dollar franchise Bourne handily won the box office and has pulled in more than $100 million to date. Meanwhile, Suicide Squad raked in $133.7 million its first weekend.
But the big picture is complicated by Hollywood’s politics. Republicans bristled at the sight of Bradley Cooper at the Democratic National Convention last month in Philadelphia. The actor, a Democrat, became an iconic figure to some on the right for his patriotic portrayal of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in 2014’s surprise box office smash American Sniper.
Read more at USA Today
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