Following the massacre of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14, Hollywood has responded with sensitivity.
Premieres for "Jack Reacher" and "Django Unchained" -- two violent films out this month -- were canceled. Fox Television pulled episodes of "Family Guy" and "American Dad," and rescheduled them for a later date. Radio stations across the country stopped playing the Ke$ha single "Die Young" because of its title and lyrics, and even Ke$ha herself backed away from the song. (She tweeted -- and quickly deleted -- that she never wanted to sing "Die Young" and was "forced" to record it for her album.) Yet the question remains: Will Hollywood ever stop using violence in its product?
“Violence is both a moneymaker -- audiences love it -- and an artist’s tool," Martin Kaplan, director of the Norman Lear Center for the study of entertainment and society at the University of Southern California, told The New York Times. "Of course, it can be gratuitous. For every Scorcese or Peckinpah, there’s a schlockmeister who’s only in it for the dough. But who do we want to empower to decide whether Quentin Tarantino or a 'Grand Theft Auto' goes over the line? The government? The industry? Or the audience, which is where Hollywood wants to put the control."
That's a question which will be asked often in the coming weeks and months, which is why HuffPost Entertainment wants your input. As the nation tries to heal itself after the tragic murders in Newtown, Conn., should Hollywood take a hard look at the content it produces? Or is it the responsibility of the audience to take a stand?