Movies and Television Shows Should Include Better Role Models for Their Audiences

Topics: Television program, Film, Social status Pages: 5 (1804 words) Published: June 16, 2013
Movies and television shows should included better role models for their audiences

I’m sure it has happened plenty of times. When you finish watching a movie and afterwards feel so inspired. This is often when the movie hero was presented as someone we would like to be or has a personality that we admire. Sometimes it can be other characters that are shown to be “cool”, attractive, and popular that also inspires us to mimic their personality traits. Movies can also prompt us to try certain activities. Of course this can be seen as the beneficial side of media; the fact that there could be that one movie that has the power to influence someone to become a better person. But like almost everything, there’s a downside to it too. The fact that media can be convincing in positive ways suggests that it can equally convey negative messages as well. The way that movies or television shows portray their characters is something that definitely needs to be paid attention to. The rebellious heroes, senseless social statuses, and unhealthy activities characters engage in are all factors that will influence the audience. Therefore it is important to consider whether it is worth presenting the characters in this way. A large majority of movies are presenting their characters as bad people, yet the people that anyone would find themselves wanting to be. I believe that is wrong, thus movies and TV shows should include better role models for their audiences. Current movies portray violence without consequence, inaccurate representations of social statuses and social interaction, and encourage characters to engage in activities with more harm than good.

Many of the heroes in movies happen to be quite rebellious and are often involved in violence. It’s usually the fact that they’re so involved in violence that helps them obtain their cool, heroic status. The characters we see as role models are always showing that violence can be used as a quick fix for conflicts to avoid negative consequences. K.A. Earles states, “This depiction of violence increases the probability that violence will be one of the first strategies chosen by a child.” Bandura, a professor in psychology at Stanford University demonstrated that preschoolers learn aggressive behavior by watching television. Three groups of children were shown a film in which a man commands a human-sized doll to move, and when it did not he hit the doll with his fists, a mallet, and then rubber balls. In other words, he used violence as an immediate strategy. Group one saw the man rewarded. Group two saw the episode end without reward or punishment. Group three saw the actor receive a verbal lecture. After watching the film, the children in groups one and two were seen to behave more aggressively than the ones in group three. This proves that the consequences characters find themselves facing has quite a strong impact on how the audience will act. What encourages violence even more is that it is often carried out by the hero in the story line who is then rewarded for his/her endorsement in violence. “Such constant exposure to portrayals of physical violence, some of which viewers do not even recognize as violent, may dull a child’s aversion to this behavior.” says K.A. Earles. Reenactments of national worldwide disasters such as terrorism scenes or brutal wars are one thing. But for a fictional superhero to battle and beat his “enemies” with realistic and bloody dramatizations is not a good way to entertain kids. There aren’t many positive or useful characteristics of the role model heroes for the children to gain besides their “charismatic” and “brave” personalities but they express these lovely character traits through violence. They care for the ones who are in danger so they save them with violence. As they stand up to their enemy and begin to battle them they show out their bravery. These heroes are showing young boys that if you are not strong enough, not brave enough to...
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