Women in Film hosts the Academy Award-winning actor where he asks for help in his cause.
By Ryan O’Quinn/Special to The Malibu Times
Academy Award-winning actor and Malibu resident Louis Gossett Jr. was greeted by a rousing ovation from members in the entertainment industry who gathered at the Chart House Restaurant to socialize, network and hear Gossett speak at a recent December breakfast of the Los Angeles Chapter of Women in Film.
“Gang bangers” was the subject of Gossett’s talk, and he explained how the group assembled could help with his latest project titled, “One Summer of Peace.” The project is not a film or television series, but rather a concept that Gossett concocted to eliminate gang violence in America’s inner cities for three months during the summer of 2005.
“What you see on the screen and on our televisions is what impresses our public, especially our young,” Gossett said. “If they see an image where there is an absence of a three-dimensional woman on that screen or a three-dimensional African American or a three-dimensional Latin American; if it is incomplete it impresses us and people go out and replicate that, specifically our gang bangers. Our future lawyers, doctors and presidents are killing one another on a daily basis. I need your support for one summer of peace.”
Prior to the end of the school year next spring, Gossett plans to meet with leaders of rival gangs in major metropolitan areas around the country. Gossett said he would encourage the gang members to agree to a summer of peace wherein they would cease violent acts for the period and deter influential youth who are contemplating joining a gang.
Gossett also recently met with officials in Washington, and his idea has garnered the support of executives at Paramount Studios and Viacom.
Gossett wore a T-shirt sporting the logo “Eracism,” a concept he has espoused and wears at many public events. He wore the logo recently on television talk shows and says the word was not his idea, but he loves the notion and will continue to promote the idea.
“Eracism is the elimination from existence that one race is superior to another,” he said. “It is the elimination from existence that one mentality is superior to another and that one consciousness is superior to another. We cannot survive without one another.”
Gossett spoke of the need for those in the entertainment industry to give back to the community at large and said the younger generation needs to learn how to focus less on material possessions and more on education and spirituality.
“It took a while for me to get this message,” Gossett said. “Being of service to our young, all the gold and diamonds in many different forms seems to be returning to my life.”
Following his address to the organization, Gossett answered questions on how they as a group could help his cause. He then welcomed those in attendance to speak to him one-on-one where some shared with him other volunteer events and charitable causes.
Women in Film was founded in 1973 and seeks to support women in the entertainment and media industries. One of the tenets of the association is to create community outreach programs, which are educational and creatively enlightening. For more information on Women in Film call 310.657.5144 or visit www.wif.org.