What TV stories tell us about gun safety, how these depictions affect audiences, and how we can do better
The prevalence and impact of gun violence in entertainment media has been the subject of extensive research. Little is known, however, about how often gun safety and prevention measures are portrayed or discussed, in what contexts, or the impact of such portrayals on audiences. This study, conducted with Everytown for Gun Safety examines how gun safety and gun violence prevention are currently depicted in popular television programming and provides recommendations for how the television industry can improve portrayals. The research team analyzed 250 episodes of scripted TV dramas over two seasons, and found limited depictions or discussions of gun safety and gun violence prevention measures. The research confirms that while rare, when gun safety portrayals do appear, they can have a substantial impact on viewers’.
Read the Report
PRESS: Deadline Hollywood. Study: TV Gun Violence “Ubiquitous,” Victims “Disproportionately” White & “Rare” Depictions Of Gun Safety Have “Positive” Impacts On Viewers
Shooting Straight: The Webinar
Our research team shares highlights from this study on portrayals of gun violence and gun safety in current television programming, and why these results indicate a need for the entertainment industry to use the medium of television to change the narrative and encourage gun safety amongst the general public.
Trigger Warning: Gun Guidelines for the Media
Trigger Warning: Gun Guidelines for the Media is a new resource guide created by Hollywood, Health & Society to better understand the presence of gun use in the entertainment industry. The guide also includes data from our Shooting Straight study, among many others.
Read the guide.
PRESS: Hollywood Reporter | Variety | Deadline Hollywood | Reuters | USC
The Norman Lear Center's Media Impact Project researches how entertainment and news influence our thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, knowledge and actions. We work with researchers, the film and TV industry, nonprofits, and news organizations, and share our research with the public. We are part of the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.