Dustin Hoffman blames Hollywood over Dunblane

The Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman yesterday chose the Cannes Film Festival as the venue for an attack on cinema's falling standards on violence.

Hoffman, whose career has spanned more than 30 years, said that in Hollywood today commerce is "mixed with violence" in a way that he had never seen before.

And referring to the recent mass murders in Dunblane and in Tasmania, Hoffman said: "Look at this global community we live in and what happens in Tasmania and what happens in Scotland. Are you saying it [film violence] doesn't have anything to do with it?

"Do I feel that it contributes? Absolutely. I feel it all contributes. I had a discussion with a friend of mine the other night. I don't know whether you have heard about this in Europe but there were two kids, six and eight years old, who attacked a baby in Chicago. Our feeling about it was that this was kind of normal behaviour and that the human being is at best the lowest of savages. We are born savages and if you have little kids like I do you have to tell them 'What are you doing? You can't put your fingers in your brother's eyes like that, how would you like someone to do it to you?'

"But now there is a total absence of that kind of training and the opposite is even in effect. If those kids are seeing violence in front of them or seeing an older person doing that kind of thing they are going to do the same thing.

Hoffman, the star of numerous films including the violent Straw Dogs and Marathon Man, said he rejected scripts that featured gratuitous violence.

"It personally affects my own decisions. I look at a script and if it has what I think is gratuitous violence I won't do it. I haven't taken any steroids lately so it's not a difficult decision to make."

The actor, who won his two Oscars for Kramer v Kramer and Rain Man, said that he attended a Hollywood fundraising dinner a year ago when President Bill Clinton criticised the level of violence in films.

"All of us so-called heavyweights were there, the stars, the directors and the studio heads. We all stood around watching Clinton and I thought he was quite brave because he came into Hollywood and he was saying cut down on the violence."

"He said: 'You know when I see violence, or when you see violence or your kids see violence, they have mothers and they have fathers and you have three things; you have work, you have family and a certain financial security.'

"But he said that there were many people, and kids who are impressionable, who don't have any of the above and he said they are being affected differently by that kind of stuff on the screen. He said 'to you guys it's just entertainment but I think it's hitting another level to a lot of those other kids.'

"I could see everybody applauding but I knew it was going to be business as usual as soon as Clinton had gone and everyone was going to go right back and make the same kind of movies.

"It's part of the whole thing. Commerce is mixed with violence now in a way that I am unaware of in my lifetime."

Major's guns pledge, page 2

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world