Blame is due Hollywood


This letter appeared in the Houston Chronicle (Houston, Texas) on 23 May 1999.

This item may be cited as M. R. Franks, Outlook: Blame is due Hollywood, Houston Chronicle, May 23, 1999, at Outlook p. 3.

Copyright © 1999, M. R. Franks

Dear Editor:

It's time to hold Hollywood as responsible as we hold the cigarette industry for the damage it does to society. Surely the number of people who are paranoid-schizophrenic is no higher in America than in England, Italy or Argentina, it's just that they aren't killing people over there.

We run much higher murder rates than other countries, even on a per-capita basis after adjusting for population.

Is a nation's murder rate inversely proportional to its cultural distance from Hollywood? Hollywood responds that their swill is "entertainment" and that sane people don't act on it. But it's not the sane people who worry me.

Hollywood definitely influences behavior.

Bad parenting surely exists in Italy or Zambia, but it is far less likely to produce a killer there, simply because those cultures are far less addicted to violence.

M. R. Franks
Baton Rouge

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