The entertainment industry has a critical role to play, in reducing the incidence of violent crime. You have to understand that many of the individuals who are involved in violent crime are inspired by what they hear or what they see in the media. So they are inspired by stuff they saw in movies, stuff they heard in music… and so on. It is not uncommon to come across movies in which people who are essentially violent criminals are the ‘stars’. It is similarly not uncommon to hear music (especially in genres such as rap, ragga and hip-hop) where violent crime and the ‘gangster culture’ is glorified. Now it is the entertainment industry that is responsible for the production of such ‘stuff’ – which is in turn passed on to the media for dissemination to the masses.
The people who are in charge of the entertainment industry need to get to a point of understanding just how impactful their work tends to be, especially in young minds. They then need to get rid of the notion that their works have to glorify violent crime to sell. There are many movies that have performed very well without glorifying violent crime. There are similarly many musicians who have done very well for themselves without churning out hits that glorify violent crime.
Instead of glorifying violent crime, the entertainment industry needs to make an about turn, and start glorifying positive values. Presently, you have movies that almost make it seem as if it is ‘unfashionable’ for one to be earning an honest living. You therefore find that even young men and women who have decent jobs (with assured paychecks accessible via portals like www.mypepsico.com) still feel as if they are missing out on something. The movies they watch have made it look as if it is better to be earning a living peddling drugs, running guns, pimping and engaging in other such adrenaline-fueled ‘hustles’. Yet the reality is that such hustles tend to be very risky, low-paying and short-lived.
The government regulators may also need to come in at some point, and ensure that the entertainment industry doesn’t produce content that glorifies violent crime. They are too busy fighting crime, without bothering to tackle the inspiration for the crime in music and movies. That is akin to treating the symptoms, without dealing with underlying disease.