To most viewers, the celebrity-studded "Demand a Plan" public service announcement video released in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, was just an instance of Hollywood adding its voice to the nationwide cry for change. But at least one person, a YouTube user calling himself "Mike Hunt" (go ahead, get your giggles out now), saw it as a hypocritical statement from actors who've profited from depictions of gun violence.
So he made his own video, titled "Demand a Plan? Demand Celebrities Go F*ck Themselves," splicing scenes of actors like Jamie Foxx, Will Ferrell, and Amy Poehler holding guns in movies and TV into the original PSA. The result is an unsettling, if sometimes unfair, juxtaposition.
"These self-serving whores of the 1% love guns and violence as long as they can line their pockets," "Hunt" writes in the description of his video. "Hey these hypocritical assholes 'probably' voted for and support Obama...how many kids has he killed with his toy drones and foreign policy? When you elect leaders that commit mass murder, don't be surprised when the citizens follow suit."
The video was uploaded on Christmas Day, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, its various "extended" and "clean" versions have been viewed more than half a million times in total, as of this morning.
Its creator doesn't appear to be an NRA supporter, though his video indicates he does share the NRA's opinion that gun violence in Hollywood leads to gun violence in real life. And it is sobering to see celebrities like Cameron Diaz pleading for gun control one minute and brandishing a firearm like a special toy the next.
Then again, firing a gun in an imaginary world built on an L.A. soundstage is vastly different from firing a weapon in real life. All the clips in the altered PSA are taken out of context, and some scenes in the video seem especially unfairly included, undermining the video's point. For example, is Zooey Deschanel really to blame for Hollywood's culture of violence? The clip of her awkwardly firing a rifle into the ground is a better call for gun control than the original "Demand a Plan" PSA.
The video's creator also doesn't seem too concerned with violence when it's aimed at the celebrities themselves. The video ends with the song "Kill a Celebrity" by Ramallah, and in the video description, "Hunt" writes, "These fucks can stand on their soapboxes all they want...just as long as they wrap an extension cord around their necks and jump."
The broader question, of course, isn't a new one: Is Hollywood at least partly responsible for shootings like the one in Newtown? And is it hypocritical for actors who've made millions in gun-heavy action movies to take a stand on gun control in the real world? Watch the videos below and decide for yourself.
The original PSA:
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The altered version: