Can you advertise a film like "Dirty Harry" without showing guns? What about "Pulp Fiction"? "Deadpool"? Or upcoming action flick "Jason Bourne"?
Given the recent gun-related tragedies in the US, at least one producer thinks it’s time that Hollywood give it a try. But rather than wait for the studios to change their ways, Tami Sagher is urging New Yorkers to take matters into their own hands.
On Tuesday, Sagher took to Instagram to post something other than her usual animal doodles and inspirational quotes. Sagher, producer of HBO’s "Girls," posted a photo of the Bourne poster with the gun torn out.
"Hey New Yorkers, what if we do some peeling & get rid of the guns in the Jason Bourne subway ads," she wrote. "So tired of guns."
Lena Dunham, the creator and star of "Girls," quickly reposted the call to action, giving it a far wider audience than it enjoyed on Sagher’s feed. (Dunham has 2.7 million followers; Sagher has about 1,400.) But Dunham apparently got cold feet, and quickly deleted the post. (On Wednesday, she posted a list of victims of gun violence, using the #BlackLivesMattter hashtag.)
Although brief, Dunham’s endorsement of Sagher’s rallying cry gave it a boost online, spawning stories ranging from Vanity Fair and Hollywood Reporter to BroBible. Even former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling took note with a sarcastic remark tweeted to the Drudge Report.
"Right, because erasing the image makes it less violent," he wrote. "What's next? Matt Damon/Jason Bourne lecturing us on gun violence." (Earlier this month, gun rights supporters blasted Damon for advocating stricter gun legislation while promoting "Bourne.")
@DRUDGE_REPORT Right, because erasing the image makes it less violent. What's next? Matt Damon/Jason Bourne lecturing us on gun violence— Curt Schilling (@gehrig38) July 13, 2016
Alas, the idea did not begin with Sagher. Four days before her post, artist and fellow New Yorker Peter Musante posted to Instagram a picture of a "Bourne" poster in the Subway from which he had torn out the gun. He tagged Sagher and Dunham and wrote "let’s start a movement."
Whether New Yorkers begin tearing the guns out of posters en masse remains to be seen. But give Musante, Sagher and Dunham credit for bringing a new dimension to the gun debate, for better or worse. Similarly, actress and model Rose McGowan ignited a minor firestorm earlier this year with her calls to ban a poster for the movie "X-Men: Apocalypse" because she felt it promoted violence against women.
The studio producing "Bourne," Universal Studios, did not respond to a request for comment.