American Jewish movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has come under fire from gun-control opponents and conservatives in the United States after announcing his plans to make a film that takes on the National Rifle Association.
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Weinstein appeared on Howard Stern's radio show this week, where he revealed plans for the anti-gun film he says will star Meryl Streep. (She has yet to confirm her role in the project.)
“I shouldn’t say this, but I’ll tell it to you, Howard,” he said. “…We're going to take this head-on. And they’re going to wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them,” he said, referring to the NRA.
The Washington Times reported that the Hollywood bigwig hopes viewers leave this film, which he compared to "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," thinking, "'Gun stocks -- I don’t want to be involved in that stuff.' It’s going to be like crash and burn."
Weinstein's remarks drew harsh criticism from right-wingers and gun advocates – including rocker Ted Nugent and a Fox News panel hosted by Martha MacCallum.
Nugent compared Weinstein to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, telling an NRA radio show that moviegoers who see the film "will see that Joseph Goebbels and [Jewish community organizer] Saul Alinsky is alive in the form a fat punk named Harvey Weinstein, and as he tries to destroy the NRA it will backfire on him."
"Harvey Weinstein is on the side of criminals," Nugent went on to say. "The NRA is on the side of innocent victims protecting themselves from criminals."
The Weinstein project was also the subject of discussion on Fox News, where a panel McCallum hosted also took shots at the entertainment executive.
Mike Slater, a radio host, accused Weinstein and his Hollywood colleagues of having "built their careers on making incredibly violent movies and they have contributed to this desensitizing to violence in America, whether it's gun violence or 'knockout game' violence and everything in between."
McCallum, meanwhile, took the opportunity to rehash a claim that the Holocaust could have been prevented had more Jews been armed. "Their guns were all confiscated under German law at the time," she said, according to Media Matters for America, a non-profit U.S. media watchdog.
The Anti-Defamation League last year issued a statement saying Nazi analogies have no place in the gun-control debate.
“The idea that supporters of gun control are doing something akin to what Hitler’s Germany did to strip citizens of guns in the run-up to the Second World War is historically inaccurate and offensive, especially to Holocaust survivors and their families,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director and a Holocaust survivor, in a statement issued last January.