Ask Americans to Pledge not to Watch Violent Entertainment for One Year

Target: People of America

Goal: Pledge not to watch violent movies, television or play violent video games for one year.

With freedom comes responsibility. While we have the freedom to watch demoralizing and degrading forms of entertainment, we also have the freedom to choose not to. Like Jim Morrison said, “Whoever controls the media controls the mind.” Is media controlling us or are we controlling it? Do we tell the media that we don’t want to be inundated with violent images and scenarios, or do we actually pay for them to entertain us in this way…and then wonder why violent crimes occur? Not fueling sources of violent entertainment with our dollars would make a powerful statement not only about the type of entertainment we’d like to have made available to us, but also about our potential power as a nation of people united. Let’s stand together and pledge not to watch violent entertainment for one year.

Studies have shown that exposure to gratuitous violence in movies, television and video games can lead people to resort to violence as a form of conflict resolution in real life. Can you recall how you felt the first time you saw someone’s head getting blown off in a movie? Ask yourself if you still feel the same sort of shock, horror or disgust now after being exposed to it in films countless times. In the wake of the shooting of twenty children at a school in Newton, Connecticut, it’s time to stop desensitizing people to violence everywhere they turn. Hollywood, television networks and video game makers most likely won’t take responsibility for the increase in real-world violence by decreasing or eliminating violence in their products. That means we need to take responsibility by discontinuing our funding of them with our consumer dollars.

Until recently, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was fining networks if a curse word was said on camera. While trying to limit obscene language is commendable, no one has ever been killed by a curse word. This leads one to wonder, if the FCC was allowed to be stringent about something that in essence, doesn’t really hurt anyone, then why shouldn’t it require the same standards for violence, which can and does lead people to behave violently? If television networks and other entertainment sources can’t understand the logic behind why they should cut back on gratuitous violence, then we must show them ourselves that we want violence taken out of entertainment.

We cannot continue to shake our heads in disbelief and confusion when events like what happened at the school in Newton, CT take place. We must take responsibility as a nation for perpetuating or desensitizing ourselves to these violent crimes by allowing such an inordinate amount of violence to infiltrate our homes and lives in the form of entertainment. Sign this petition pledging not to watch any form of violent entertainment for one year.


Dear People of America,

After twenty young children and six adults were shot and killed at a school in Newton, Connecticut, along with thirteen deaths in a movie theater earlier this year, it would seem to most Americans that we are experiencing enough violence in real life. Do we really need it to be a form of entertainment as well? How many more violent crimes need to take place in our nation before we tell Hollywood, television networks and video game makers that we’ve had enough?

Exposure to violence desensitizes people to it. With scientific evidence proving this, why do we keep allowing ourselves to be exposed to it? We watch news story after new story, where the killers are idolized and the victims are forgotten, and we wonder why horrible tragedies like the one that happened in Newton, CT take place. The amount of money we spend on violent entertainment would suggest that it’s because we take pleasure in violence. Let’s stand together and show the entertainment industry that we will no longer accept violence as a form of entertainment by pledging not to watch it for one year.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Julie Ross

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  1. We cannot keep shaking our heads in disbelief every time we see a shooting on the news, and then pay to watch the same sort of violence as entertainment.

  2. Robert Ortiz says:

    It’s a difficult thing to do seeing as entertainment these days seems to be comprised exclsively of shameful reality TV shows, silly comedies that resort to bathroom humor to score laughs and movies packed with action and gratuitous violence. What a sad statement that makes about society. However I think taking a pledge like this would prove to be worthwhile for many people. Give peace a chance.

  3. there are two things wrong with this.

    1 what constitutes “violence in the media”? is two sit-com characters slapping each other in the face “violence”. is Tom and Jerry “violence”. how about in books? when Bigwig and Woundwourt have their climatic fight in the honeycomb is that “violence in the media” how about Harry and Draco fighting on the quittich field? that’s a very large grey area.

    2 while the Newtown shootings and others like it are horrible and tragic, focusing these events on video games and TV and Movies only shifts the blame away from those who deserve it: the monsters who do these things! there was no evil little bug that climbed from the TV to James Holmes’s or Ryan Lanza’s ear and took control of their brains. Holmes and Lanza and the rest decided themselves and themselves alone to do what they did and they alone should pay the highest price the law can give.

    • Julie Ross says:

      I assumed any “grey areas” would be cleared up by readers using common sense. Do you honestly think that punishing killers is going to solve the problem of killing? Has locking up pot dealers stopped pot from coming into the country? Violent video games are used by the military to desensitize potential combatants. But you don’t think violent media has any effect on the rest of the public? Perhaps if you stopped defending violence and started demanding that our brains be filled with positive messages, we’d have a less violent world. And also instead of defending violence, if people stopped allowing prescription drug companies to administer meds to kids, we’d have a healthier society. EVERY SINGLE shooting that’s taken place over the last few years in this country, has been committed by a person either on prescription meds, or who had been on them. These are things that advertisers tell us we need that we don’t. In order to help, we have to stop looking at how we can punish those who commit crimes, and start thinking of how to prevent them from happening in the first place. I’d say you need to find another cause to defend…unless of course you’re aim is to make the people of this country more stupid, more fat, more violent and more unable to cope with reality.

      • I’m not sure how prescription medication got it there but I think we agree on that one although for different reasons. we do not need to cover up the problem of violence by turning are backs and denying it’s existence by scoffing at TV violence and handing everyone who complains pills. we need to address it, grab the bull by the horns and make it understood that there are better ways than violence.

        It has nothing to do with Matt Damon.

        It has everything to do with hatred and resentment. people who feel they have no voice and no choice inevitably lash out against their oppressors. people who feel they have been wronged will inevitably want revenge whether it be through the courts or other ways

        we need to get to these people beforehand and help them, not hand them pills and walk away, not tell them what they can and can’t do, or what they can or can’t watch. I have seen things on TV and in media that have offended me and I have seen things that I don’t blame people for being offended. but when I see those things I also know that I have no right to demand everyone else stop seeing those things just because I don’t like it.

        and neither do you.

        Violence has been around for as long as humanity and no simple solution exists for this inconceivably complex problem and if simpleton solutions continue to be put forth and enacted into law the problem of violence will never get any better.

        • Julie Ross says:

          This petition wasn’t requesting that legislation be written to outlaw violence, nor was it “demanding” that people not participate in watching it. If you read it again, the message is that we can empower ourselves without the help of governmental intervention. WE can make the choice to not be entertained by violence. If you don’t want to participate, don’t.

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