Hollywood director Jon Erwin is tired of the entertainment industry’s sole concern for the bottom line and studios’ overall refusal to consider the impact that profanity, violence and “anarchy” are having on audiences.
“How in the world did we get here — when ‘Game of Thrones’ is the show everyone’s talking about and when I drive around L.A. and see billboards about ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ [being] the movie of our time?” he said in an interview with TheBlaze. “How did we get to this place of anarchy?”
Erwin, whose new film “Moms’ Night Out” opens in theaters nationwide Friday, lambasted the industry for failing to take the time to consider the social consequences of distributing messages rooted in rampant violence, sex and smut.
Hollywood, he charged, doesn’t “have a soul anymore” — a paradigm he’s hoping to change through the work he’s doing with his brother, Andrew Erwin. The two co-directed “Moms’ Night Out,” a comedic follow-up to “October Baby,” their dramatic feature film about abortion survival.
The Erwin brothers are taking an entirely different approach.
“There’s no emphasis on anything other than, ‘Does this make money?,’” he charged of studios’ movie-making decisions. “There’s no boardrooms where people are asking, ‘Is ‘Grand Theft Auto’ good for people?’ They only ask, ‘Does it make money?’”
Erwin, a Christian who’s bent on producing films that focus on a fulfilling story or an uplifting message, said it’s long past due for Hollywood to really take the time to pursue a “double bottom line” — that is, creating content that is both financially profitable and ethically sound.
“There was a day when Hollywood really had a moral fiber in my opinion, that there was clear good versus evil and there were rules for what could and could not be portrayed,” he told TheBlaze. “I love comedy, but it stinks that there are so few comedies that I can go and see.”
Erwin said it’s unfortunate that so many people of faith are put in positions in which they need to sacrifice their values in order to get a good laugh, many times feeling like they “want to take a bath afterwards.”
“There are study after study after study of the effects of violence on our kids and on us and the stuff’s not healthy,” he said. “I think we’ve hit critical mass of anarchy in Hollywood and I think that we’ve got to step up and play offense and give people [something different].”
Erwin noted that many Americans join in his concern about the impact of entertainment content, believing that it’s time for people both inside and outside of the entertainment industry to make a profound change.
“Somebody’s go to stand up and say, ‘This is ridiculous and this has got to stop,’” he said. “The blatant overdone sexuality is exploitation of women to make money and that’s not right. And the violence is numbing our kids’ minds.”
He said he was stunned by some reviews of “Moms’ Night Out,” a PG film, that critiqued the movie for not including profanity, sex and gratuitous violence. Erwin told TheBlaze that he simply couldn’t believe that society had come to a place where a movie with good values was criticized for lacking harmful content.
“We’re going off a cliff in the kind of content we’re creating,” Erwin said. “My appeal to everyone in Hollywood is, can we please clean up our act?”
He said that conservative and Christian films can have a strong voice if they keep up the work that has been accomplished this year with faith-based films that have continued to emerge and hold market power at the box office.
“If it says Erwin on it, you can trust it,” he said.
Erwin encouraged viewers to use the power of their purses and wallets to sway Hollywood toward more palatable entertainment.
“Your movie ticket is enormously valuable,” he said.