Art becomes life as television and film violence numb viewers
By Gabrielle Pantera @gpantera
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Daily Star) 2020/1/5 – There is more violence on TV than ever before. TV is supposed to be entertainment. How did violence become entertainment? Why can’t we just chill out with Miley Cyrus and yoga?
Most procedural TV series show graphic violence. Dramas show lots of violence and verbal bullying. We don’t need more violent acts, the gory aftermath of a tragedy, or listening to someone, often a woman, being verbally abused.
Entertainment should be fun, thought provoking, or evoke happy memories. People want to watch something that will make them happy or make them think. or even help them escape from the drama in their own life. Not more violence.
According to A.C. Nielsen, number of murders seen on TV by the time an average child finishes elementary school: 8,000. Number of violent acts seen on TV by age 18: 200,000. Percentage of Americans who believe TV violence helps precipitate real life mayhem: 79%
The news is another contributor to the problem. It’s become so sensationalized they spend hours covering violent events, coverage that glorifies violent behavior. After 9/11, the networks realized they shouldn’t show over and over again the towers falling, because it traumatized viewers. Children and adults consciously or subconsciously believed they were seeing new events, not the same traumatic video repeating endlessly.
Americans have a generation with PTSD-like trauma from watching the twin towers going down, again and again. Moreover, it gives power and a platform to those who want to harm or duplicate something they’ve seen.
TV shows should be about the story and the characters. Yes, the attention span of most people has shortened. Or has it? With so much violence presented as entertainment, why not tune out?
Let’s not put our heads in the sand and be all sunshiny and daffodils. But, let’s pull back from hour upon hour of covering something evil that promotes the very thing we are horrified happen. Don’t glorify crime.
The Heathers TV series, scheduled to air in March 2018 on Paramount Network, was deemed too close to the latest school shooting in their own depiction of a fictitious event in the show. Producers are spending lots of money on something that might not even air, because the events are too much like what’s happening around us. Why produce that and risk activating someone mentally ill to copycat?
Maybe networks should accept their portion of responsibility in contributing to the rash of violence in schools and other distressing events disturbingly similar to real life horrors. That might change the types of shows they make.