As Midterms Approach, Showbiz Figures Try to Focus Voters on Gun Laws

While entertainment figures like Martin Sheen and Barbra Streisand have lent their names to support to midterm campaigns, there also has been a showbiz focus on specific issues, like gun violence.

The latest are two spots directed by Mark Pellington, whose credits include “Arlington Road” and “Mothman Prophecies,” for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. The 60-second PSAs seek to make voters mindful of supporting candidates who will try to curb gun violence.

Both spots depict potential voters listening or reading about news of shooting rampages, including those at Virginia Tech and Aurora, Colo. Blood drips from their hands as they take in the news.

In both of the spots, a narrator says, “You did not buy the guns. You did not load the bullets. You did not empty the chamber. But you voted. You voted for politicians that refuse to support common-sense gun laws. Vote only for candidates who will fight to reduce gun violence. The solution is in our hands.”

The spots represent the latest effort to raise the profile of the issue of gun violence. Earlier this month, writer-director Adam McKay and the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence unveiled a new video and website that identifies members of Congress who have taken campaign money from the gun industry, while voting against gun violence legislation. “Is your member of Congress a lapdog for the corporate gun lobby?” the site asks.

On the opposite side of the issue is the National Rifle Assn., which last summer unveiled a spot as part of its “Trigger the Vote” registration campaign featuring Chuck Norris. The humorous spot features his top 10 reasons to register to vote, including “Because I said so.”

The spots for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence were created by Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness in partnership with Wondros. In a statement, Pellington said that he wanted to make spots that “shake me, make me uncomfortable and accountable for my choices and actions; pieces that brought back the horror as we culturally become insulated to every new act of gun violence.”

One of the new Coalition to Stop Gun Violence spots is below.


Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Barron HiltonBarron Hilton 1990

    Famed Hotelier Barron Hilton Dies at 91

    Barron Hilton, a famed hotelier who helped expand the Hilton Hotels empire and a founding owner of the Chargers NFL football team, has died, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation announced. He was 91. “Today the world of hospitality mourns for one of the greats. Barron Hilton was an incredible family man, business leader and philanthropist. [...]

  • Patrick Whitesell and Ari Emanuel WME

    Endeavor Targets Sept. 27 for Stock Debut, IPO Video Tells Company's Origin Story

    After years of preparation, Endeavor is set to make its formal Wall Street debut on Sept. 27, when its stock will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Endeavor has targeted Sept. 26 for the final pricing of its shares. The stock will trade publicly the following day. Earlier this week, Endeavor said its [...]

  • Netflix - Apple TV

    Netflix Stock Drops After CEO Acknowledges 'Tough Competition' Coming From Disney, Apple

    Netflix shares fell as much as 7% Friday to a nine-month low, coming after CEO Reed Hastings commented that the November launches of Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus will introduce a “whole new world” of competition. Hastings, speaking at the Royal Television Society conference Friday in Cambridge, England, said, “While we’ve been competing with [...]

  • Charlie Rose Sexual Harassment

    Charlie Rose Sued for Sexual Harassment by Longtime Makeup Artist

    A makeup artist who worked for Charlie Rose for 22 years has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit, accusing the former CBS and PBS host of years of unlawful behavior toward female employees. Gina Riggi alleges that Rose was verbally abusive with her and would often make derogatory comments about her weight. She also alleges that [...]

  • Rob Stringer

    Sony Music Chief Rob Stringer on Sustaining Growth and Recovering From the 'Dark Times'

    The Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference, now in its 28th year, gives top executives at major companies the opportunity to make their case to investors — and the Goldman analysts the opportunity to keep things on the up and up. While the analysts don’t necessarily grill the executives, they don’t lob softball questions either. That was [...]

  • Frank Grillo'Avengers: Endgame' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Matt Phelps Tapped as President of Joe Carnahan, Frank Grillo's Warparty

    Frank Grillo and Joe Carnahan’s Warparty productikon banner has appointed Matt Phelps president of the company. Phelps will head the Los Angeles office and be responsible for overseeing all film and television projects. “We searched long and hard to find the right fit for Warparty and felt that Matt embodied everything that we were looking [...]

  • Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent,

    Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent, Dies at 88

    Jack Gilardi, a longtime ICM Partners agent who represented such stars as Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone, Jerry Lewis, Charlton Heston and Shirley MacLaine, died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 88. Gilardi was known for his gentlemanly style, love of the Los Angeles Dodgers and his skill at representing top actors. He [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content