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Violence in Movies & TV

Updated on March 9, 2020
Mark O Richardson profile image

Mark is from Utah. He is married and has 3 children. He is a graduate of the University of Utah.


The World We Live In

Considering some of my other articles, you probably notice that the media and how it affects us is something that has been on my mind throughout my life. Also, it can be a hot topic. Rating systems are often inadequate. Where is the line drawn on violence in television and movies?

If you listen to or watch the news, there is violence every day, all over the world. Those who are violent have often blamed media, such as violent movies. So much of the media is often negative. It saddens me that so many live in fear, such as with the Coronavirus.

We must ask ourselves some important questions. Which came first: media or violence? Does violence in real life imitate art? Or does violence in art imitate violence from reality? If we know these answers, it is only then that we can blame the media. Violence has been around since the beginning of man. Consider nursery rhymes…most of them deal with the harsher side of life, such as Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, or Jack and the Beanstalk. Fortunately, these stories have lessons to be learned.

I think most people would say that the United States have higher crime rates than many other countries, with men typically being the aggressors. The more violence you watch, the more violent you think the world is. The media that reports many of these negative events can give the perception that the world is worse than it really is. One can assume that mass murderers seek notoriety.

“Reality” TV has decreased recently in my opinion, but it is interesting to point out that on a lot of these shows, they give a poor interpretation of reality because the shows rarely show the aftermath of negative behaviors. One of the most disturbing things I have seen recently was a movie clip of a parent lashing out at their child verbally and physically.

Does TV violence mislead young people? They can become desensitized. Our thoughts and actions shape us. Modern culture promotes instant gratification and does not allow anyone to have a second of boredom. Too much media for children can be a symptom of parental neglect.

When there is violence, it is often a witch hunt, especially when the perpetrator is killed in the process. I have seen here in Utah, with multiple instances where the killer was killed, but if it was not their gun, the gun owners are prosecuted. What is the point? Revenge?


It is important to realize that we have control over our actions and there is freedom of speech.

A step in the right direction is to consider the letter and the spirit of the law. For the letter, a movie may be rated PG-13 instead of R, but we find it too violent, so we may choose to read reviews to try to have a better idea ahead of time if it is a movie that we want to see.

While difficult, it is best to put limits on how much media our children take in. Television can be good in moderation as it can help us escape. Many enjoy contact sports such as boxing, football, or ultimate fighting, but that does not make people criminals. Movies about war are violent but can help us realize the horrors of war. However, comedy television has not shaped everyone into comedians.

Major violent events should be a wake up call. Maybe people don’t know what to blame, so the media becomes the scapegoat. It is important to teach children values and take responsibility instead of blaming the media. We can also use moderation in the media that is wholesome. Discuss with your children the differences between reality and fantasy. Discuss problem solving techniques instead of resorting to violence. I have learned from personal experience that it is important that we discuss conflict versus sweeping it under the rug.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Mark Richardson


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