Is Harvey Weinstein Talking Up a Meryl Streep NRA-Bash Film As an Oscar Campaign Tactic?

Film executive Harvey Weinstein said Wednesday he plans to make an anti-gun movie starring Meryl Streep that will take a direct shot at the National Rifle Association. “We’re going to take this issue head on, and they’re going to wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them,” Weinstein said on Howard Stern’s satellite radio show.

A cynic about Weinstein starts with this question: Is Harvey picking another fight with conservatives as a strategy to woo Oscar voters for his nominated film “Philomena”? He struck out at the Golden Globes.

Weinstein promised his NRA-bashing film will be “a big movie, like ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” that will hurt stocks of gun manufacturers.

Gun-rights advocates quickly made lists of the ultraviolent movies Weinstein has produced, but he’s one of those liberal Hollywood hypocrites. I never want to have a gun,” Weinstein said. “I don’t think we need guns in this country, and I hate it, and I think the NRA is a disaster area.”

At Mediaite, Matt Wilstein insisted social conservatives who dislike ultraviolent movies should be cheering this apparent conversion: creating a fictionalized story with Meryl Streep as a senator who is taking on the NRA, and possibly has had gun violence touch her own life in some way, Weinstein has the potential to move people to action with his film.

And isn’t that what art is supposed to do? Help us confront the issues facing society by driving debate? So far, all Weinstein has done is mention that he’s starting to think about making this unnamed anti-NRA movie with Streep and already it might be the most controversial film of his career.

That’s why the mere announcement ought to be evaluated as a political or business strategy first.

Tim Graham's picture