Movies used to have disclaimers to say that no animals were actually injured in the making of the film–they don’t bother saying that now because it’s simply assumed. Cigarettes are on their way out in films, with complaints lodged even when NOT having the character puffing away would be odd.
But what about crying children?
I was going to watch the much-hyped new HBO series “Boardwalk Empire” last night, even though I tend to get bored with complex crime stories. I was willing to overlook the odd casting of Steve Buscemi as ruthless gangster, and the difficult-to-swallow openness of this elected official’s criminal life. But then the working class character hit his pregnant wife in front of their kids, and I switched the television off.
Not because of the hit: I have no problem with on-screen violence.
It was the kid. Maybe eighteen months old, and the camera is focussed on her (his? too young to tell) reaction to the father hitting the mother.
A child that young cannot act. When a child that young looks frightened, that child IS frightened. When a child that young cries out in terror and starts to weep, that child needs to be taken in someone’s arms and comforted, not made to sit at a table and cry for a sound stage full of actors and a camera.
I understand that some countries have banned the filming of screaming children in commercial movies. Here in the States, we’re more concerned with animals and cigarettes.
I as an adult have no right to make a child suffer for the sake of my entertainment.