While in Washington lawmakers have struggled to introduce new gun control legislation, in Hollywood the issue has sparked a bout of name-calling to make even the most hardened senator blanch. After Fox News commentators criticised the actor Jim Carrey last week for a pro-gun control comedy skit in which he mocked gun owners and the National Rifle Association (NRA), Carrey released a statement describing the right-leaning news network as “a media colostomy bag that has begun to burst at the seams and should be emptied before it becomes a public health issue”.
On 25 March, Carrey appeared in a spoof video clip on the comedy website Funny or Die, in which he played Lonesome Earl, a country and western singer performing a track entitled “Cold Dead Hand”. The song made fun of the late actor and former NRA president Charlton Heston, who once suggested in a speech that gun control activists would have to pry his rifle from his “cold dead hands”.
In the clip, Carrey also portrays Heston, attempting to thwart Lonesome Earl’s performance, but instead mistakenly shooting off his own foot. Explaining the sketch on Twitter, Carrey wrote, “‘Cold Dead Hand’ is abt u heartless m************ unwilling 2 bend 4 the safety of our kids. Sorry if you’re offended by the word safety!”
The viral clip earned the outrage of several conservative commentators, most notably Fox News personality Greg Gutfield, who said Carrey was “probably the most pathetic tool on the face of the earth… This video made me want to go out and buy a gun”.
Gutfield told viewers that the video was “an attack on people with a drawl,” and suggested the anti-gun lobby was composed of “sanctimonious turds”. He also charged Carrey with hypocrisy, claiming the actor had an armed bodyguard.
In his rebuttal, released on Friday, Carrey said, “I have watched Fux News rant, rave, bare its fangs and viciously slander me... I sincerely believe that in time Fux News will be remembered as nothing more than a giant culture fart”.