Quentin Tarantino Is ‘Ill-Informed’ for Defending His Violent Movies, Says Harvard Psychologist (EXCLUSIVE)

Celebuzz / December 19, 2012

'Gangster Squad' Poster
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone heat up new film poster.
A prominent Harvard psychologist has denounced Django Unchained director Quentin Tarantino for defending violence in movies following the Newtown school massacre in Connecticut.

Tarantino, whose credits include movies like True Romance, Reservoir Dogs and Inglourious Basterds, claimed he was “tired” of defending his films each time there was an act of gun violence in America.

“I just think you know there’s violence in the world, tragedies happen, blame the playmakers. It’s a western. Give me a break,” the BBC reported him as saying at a recent New York press junket for Django Unchained, which is nominated for five Golden Globes for 2013.

But Dr. Pamela Cantor, a lecturer in psychology at Harvard Medical School, who is also president of the American Association of Suicide, believes that Tarantino’s comments are inaccurate.

“I don’t agree with his comments. They were glib and ill-informed after that terrible shooting,” Cantor told Celebuzz.

“Big screen movie makers and the media in general have a responsibility here as their depiction of violence and guns are not doing any good because they normalize violent acts making society immune to them.”

Despite Tarantino’s comments about his movie, the studio behind R-rated Django Unchained, The Weinstein Company, cancelled the movie’s Hollywood premiere soon after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in which 20 children and six adults were killed by gunman Adam Lanza.

The red carpet was scheduled at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Dec. 18 in Los Angeles followed by an after-party at the SkyBar on the Sunset Strip.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the tragedy in Newtown, CT, and in this time of national mourning we have decided to forgo our scheduled event,” said a spokesperson for The Weinstein Company.

However, the studio is still going ahead with a private screening for the cast and crew, which includes stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Kerry Washington.

Tarantino’s comments have re-opened the debate about the link between movie violence and real life incidents — and despite his comments, Dr. Cantor is convinced that the award-winning director is wrong.

“It’s a fact that each time a gun is bought for self-protection it increases the likelihood that the same weapon will be used in a suicide or accidental death by 37 times,” she added.

“There have been too many tragic gun shootings of this type and clearly we need to make changes to the present gun laws, while directors need to be more responsible with the material that they produce which can influence people.”

Following massacre in Aurora, Colo., on July 20 where 12 people were killed and 58 injured by gunman James Holmes, both Hollywood and the Motion Picture Association of America took stock of the situation.

Warner Brothers, the makers of Gangster Squad, starring Ryan Gosling and Sean Penn, pushed back the release of the movie to January 11, 2013 from September 7, 2011.

Studio bosses ordered an entire scene — where gangsters shoot-up a cinema after blasting their way through the big screen — to be completely reshot.

And while Tarantino believes blame for violence should fall on those guilty of the crimes, his Django Unchained lead actor Jamie Foxx said he thinks that big screen violence can influence people.

“We cannot turn our back and say that violence in films or anything that we do doesn’t have a sort of influence. It does,” he said during the New York press event.

What to you think … was Tarantino wrong to defend violence in movies? Let us know your thoughts, below.

Celebuzz Single Player No Autoplay (CORE)
No changes are to be made to this player