Influential movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, known for producing blockbusters such as Gangs of New York, The King's Speech and Pulp Fiction, has vowed to turn away from making films that unnecessarily glorify gun violence.
The outspoken, Oscar-winning producer, who has a home near Newtown, Conn., said the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School strongly affected him. He has spoken out about limiting guns in the U.S. and has blasted pro-gun culture.
However, critics have questioned this stance given that some of his most famous films — for instance Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs and Django Unchained — prominently feature firearms and gun violence.
Weinstein said over the weekend that going forward, he is changing what kinds of films he chooses to produce, beginning with an upcoming project starring Oscar-winner Meryl Streep as a U.S. senator who challenges the National Rifle Association and the U.S. gun lobby.
"As much as I want to ignore it, as much as I want to go on with my regular life, I can’t do it this time," he said of the recurring school shootings and mass tragedies, during an interview on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight.
Regarding criticism of his anti-gun sentiment, he added: "All the heat should come my way, and I'm kind of used to the heat anyhow."
Weinstein, 61, is one of Hollywood's best-known and most powerful movie studio executives. He has a developed a reputation for supporting movies with a larger social message (such as the 2012 documentary Bully) and boosting mature, indie or arthouse fare into must-see movies (e.g. Life is Beautiful, The English Patient, Shakespeare in Love, Blue Valentine). He is also known for tenacious campaigning for his films during awards season.