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Producer of violent films says he has changed his ways

Harvey Weinstein, the producer of such violent films as "Pulp Fiction" and "Django Unchained," pledged last week that he will no longer make movies with "egregious violence."

"I'm not going to make some crazy action movie just to blow up people, and exploit people," he told CNN's Piers Morgan on Friday.

Earlier in the week, he told Howard Stern that he plans on making a film starring Meryl Streep as a U.S. Senator who takes on the NRA.

“I’m gonna make a movie with Meryl Streep and we’re gonna take this issue head-on, and (the NRA is) gonna wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them,” he said, according to a report by Mediaite.com.

Conservative commentators and politicians on Fox News took after Weinstein, calling him a hypocrite because of the fortune he has made from a career of producing ultra-violent blockbusters like "Reservoir Dogs" and "Kill Bill."

Politico reported that Texas Republic Sen. Ted Cruz called Weinstein’s movies “left-wing propaganda,” and said “Hollywood liberal elites, they have their view of things,” on Fox's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."

“We have a right to protect ourselves. It’s protected in the Constitution. Even if liberal Hollywood types want to take it away, it isn’t going anywhere,” Cruz said.

But Mediaite's Matt Wilstein said conservatives should be cheering Weinstein for his change of heart.

"If you do believe that movie violence is a terrible scourge on this country, as many of Weinstein’s critics appear to believe, then you are not being honest by simply calling him a 'hypocrite' and dismissing what he’s trying to do," Wilstein wrote. "As Weinstein said in his interview with Morgan, he does think there are some reasons, like hunting, that people should have access to firearms. But like many Americans, he thinks this country’s gun culture is out of control and wants to do something about the only way he knows how."

And his critics should take notice of the influence an entertainment world titan can have on tilting the scales against gun violence in Hollywood, wrote Anita Busch in a lengthy analysis for Deadline.com.

"I couldn’t get any of the power players I spoke with in Hollywood to reveal themselves on the record for this story," she wrote, "and that makes what Harvey Weinstein did in speaking out publicly all the more remarkable."

Email: mbrown@deseretnews.com Twitter: @deseretbrown