Less than six months after the horrific shooting in Aurora, Colo., left 12 people dead, the film industry is once again being forced to look in the mirror and reevaluate the violence that floods our screens on a daily basis.
The recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary that claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults has left the nation reeling — and studios and television networks are quickly canceling, changing and delaying films and series out of respect.
Yesterday, the Discovery Channel announced it would not be renewing its reality series about a family of gun makers — "American Guns" — for a third season. While the network declined to provide a reason, the decision likely had to do with the Sandy Hook tragedy, especially because a third season seemed all but assured after strong Season Two ratings. Criticism of the series was also swift on the network's Facebook page following the shooting.
“I know you all have to make money but would Discovery Channel PLEASE consider ceasing to broadcast the show in the U.K.? Sadly your program makes buying/owning guns seem fun, glamorous, even normal,” wrote one commenter.
Other networks responded by either pulling or delaying certain shows. Over on Syfy, an episode of "Haven" featuring violence at a high school was axed. TLC postponed its premiere of a new series, "Best Funeral Ever," which follows a Dallas funeral home and its elaborate specialty funerals, until Jan. 6. FOX yanked both "Family Guy" and "American Dad" from Sunday evening's lineup due to gun violence and religious jokes that the network "found inappropriate in light of the tragedy."
In Hollywood, the premiere for Quentin Tarantino's violent spaghetti Western "Django" was canceled Monday. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the tragedy in Newtown, Ct., and in this time of national mourning we have decided to forgo our scheduled event," said a spokesperson. While Tarantino at a press junket for the film on Saturday dismissed the idea that the movie will lead to real-world gun violence, its leading man actor Jamie Foxx disagreed.
Tom Cruise's new violent action film "Jack Reacher" also had its premiere dropped over the weekend, with the studio also deciding to cut a scene from the film's trailer involving a murderous sniper. It's being hinted that the the gun-heavy "Gangster Squad," which already had its release date pushed back due to the summer Aurora shootings, may see additional delays from its scheduled Jan. 11 premiere.
And it's not just the film industry making changes. Ke$ha’s latest pop hit, “Die Young,” which previously hit No. 3 on the charts, has fallen sharply as radio stations have started pulling it from playlists. A music expert told TMZ that a drop of this magnitude is "extremely rare," the last time being when the Dixie Chicks were banned from country radio after insulting President George Bush.