NEW YORK – On Sunday, season 2 of “Westworld” kicked off with a bang. And while the premiere mostly explored the concept of what’s real and what’s not, one thing that his very real in the HBO series is violence and the use of guns.
But “Westworld” star Jeffrey Wright defended the show against critics who say it “romanticizes” gun violence.
“I don’t think there is an attempt to glamorize gun violence on the show in any respect,” Wright told Fox News at the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of “Westworld” on Thursday in New York City. “The violence that we visit in the show is not judged to be a good thing. It’s judged to be an aberration and I think we – the characters who are on the moral side of the equation – view it that way. I don’t see that there’s any purpose in glamorizing gun violence.”
Wright said “Westworld” and other violent shows aren’t to blame for the increase in gun-related violence. He said other countries, where the show is also popular, don’t deal with the same level of gun-related events as the U.S. does.
Agreeing with Wright, the show's co-creator Jonathan Nolan said that the series doesn’t glamorize the use of guns “at all.” He said the violence in the show is used to challenge viewers.
“I don’t think the show glamorizes it at all. It is a violent show, so we get to ask the question – why do we watch violent shows?” Nolan said. “One of the lines in the first season is ‘These violent delights have violent ends,' its Shakespeare. This is just something that has been part of entertainment from the beginning.”
Nolan’s co-creator and spouse Lisa Joy also commented on the show’s violence and said that their series is just playing off of what has been “part of human nature from the beginning.”
“Our show is about the exploitation of human nature and as such part of human nature, it seems to be regrettably, violence,” Joy explained. “You see it over and over again. You don’t have one world war and then the world stops and says, ‘that was a terrible idea,’ which it was, but then there’s a second world war and there are other wars – we’re on our own loop of violence even without guns. You know when we visit other worlds where guns come less into play with other cultures and other time periods and even before guns were invented, there was also violence.”
Wright said the problem is access to guns, not what's showcased on TV.
“There are too many guns. We have more guns per capita than any other country in the world. We have more guns in our country than citizens. I think we could with maybe 100 million fewer guns. And I think we’d be OK. But that’s the problem, we fetishize guns. And I think the show is commenting on that.”
“Westworld” airs Sundays on HBO.