Is killing people on TV & movies wrong?

It’s a violent world. Keeping that in mind, we hear there’s a fringe group on the internet, DKC – Don’t Kill Characters – that’s raised its sensitive head and started a campaign against fictional deaths. DKC’s general argument is that if we stop showing murders in make-believe TV shows and movies, people will stop murdering in the real world. Whether it’s a push off a cliff or poetic pull of a trigger, viewer thrill in fictional deaths is being questioned. The logic, if not airtight, is as compelling as an open-and-shut casket: binge-watchers are getting numbed by too many on-screen deaths. So, these life-affirmators want Game of Thrones-type ‘deaths at a drop of a head’ to be done for good.

But shouldn’t murder and mayhem be populated in fiction for the very purpose of keeping them out in real life? After all, what harm could trill pills courtesy Miss Marples and Mission Impossibles do for our imaginative scape? Perhaps the real issue is about not making characters drop dead gratuitously. The era of Quentin Tarantino or Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s Animal may be facing a challenge. But as the never-to-be-out-Donne poet once said, ‘Death, be not proud, though some have called thee/ Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;/ For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow/ Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me on TV or in movies.’


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