Former actor Tina Griffin shares about Hollywood’s secret agenda, in hopes of changing teens’ lives. She gives the inside scoop in this interview.
It’s good to know you’re not the only one on the battlefield.
Kim Keller is a journalist and a family-friendly blogger I met while speaking at a Dallas youth event this summer. She speaks out a lot about media and culture on her blog, RoadkillGoldfish.com, and she’s taken a lot of heat from folks who think it’s okay to hyper-sexualize kids. She’s best known for a post that generated more than 4.1 million readers, “Dear Daughter, let Miley Cyrus be a lesson to you.”
Kim is also a great ally in the fight for today’s families, and she and I recently sat down for a mom-to-mom talk about how Hollywood influences our teens and what we can do to fight back. Here’s what she reported on her website. (Shared with Kim’s permission.)
Harmless entertainment? Former Hollywood actor says NO WAY!
There’s a lot of dirt hidden beneath Hollywood’s red carpet, and Tina Griffin is committed to exposing it.
Tina spent several years in Los Angeles as an actor and has seen first-hand what takes place when the lights are down and cameras are turned off. Today, the mom of four is a public speaker who works to counter the negative influence of what some call “harmless entertainment.”
Tina doesn’t think it’s harmless, and countless research studies back her up. The entertainment industry has long been known for glamorizing social issues such as casual sex, substance abuse, and violence, and the tactic has had real world consequences on today’s youth. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, research shows that youth exposure to media violence is associated with problems such as aggressive and violent behavior, bullying, desensitization to violence, fear, depression, nightmares, and sleep disturbances. Other studies have shown direct relationships between the amount of sexual content children see and their level of sexual activity.
Craptastic stuff. Tina’s not very enthused about it, either. She and I had a chance to talk about how entertainment is shaping today’s culture and what she’s doing to help kids and parents fight back. Here’s a little bit from our mom-to-mom talk:
Does anyone in Hollywood recognize the problems they’re creating?
Many celebrities I’ve met over the years tell me the exact same answer when I ask them how they could promote messages that negatively impact their young fans. They tell me that it’s “just a job” or “just a paycheck” and that parents need to “raise their own kids and shelter them from harmful content.” I disagree. If you’re a celebrity today, you have a responsibility to portray truth in every role you agree to do. And truth involves consequences.
Research shows us that kids copy what they see their favorite performers do, and they’re getting very unrealistic portrayals of issues such as substance use, sex, violence and relationships because they can’t see the after effects. In real life, addictions totally screw up relationships and can kill someone; people experience emotional heartache with premarital sex; and people get hurt or die from gunshots, stabbings and street fights. It’s mostly lies and low standards.
Through my speaking and talking with teens, I’ve learned kids WANT the truth, and they want others to believe in them and set high standards for them to live by. I often ask my audiences if they would rather have parents who gave them a curfew or parents who let them run free. Most kids want the curfew parents. I remember one tearful girl who approached me after event and said, “My mom doesn’t even know where I am at night or cares about who I’m with or what I’m doing. I wish she would be the mom I need her to be.”
These teens are crying out to be loved, understood and acknowledged as being worthy and valuable. That’s not a message they’re getting from Hollywood.
What types of issues do you see kids struggling with thanks to entertainment?
A lot of kids are struggling with things like self-esteem issues, drugs, alcohol, sex, identity issues, depression, suicide, rebellion, vulgarity, and fear. So much of this is directly connected to what we think is “entertainment.”
We can watch today’s news to see how our young people are committing crimes we could never imagine. Just this week, thugs doused a young woman with lighter fluid, poured it down her throat and set her on fire. That very same scene was just on a TV show several weeks ago. It doesn’t surprise me that this horrific tragedy happened. I am sorry to say I think it will be getting much worse unless Hollywood disappears from the map or we decide as a society to no longer fill our minds with murder, violence and sex.
You do a lot of speeches all over the country for schools and youth groups. What do kids say to you afterwards?
My speeches focus on the real truth behind Hollywood and how it impacts culture and our teens. I also provide tools kids can use to fight back and feel better about themselves. Many teens spill their guts to me, and I receive many emails, texts and phone calls from kids about how my message encouraged them to open up to parents, get professional help for emotional hurts, give up bad media choices and more.
I met a young lady in Montana who told me she erased over 400 vile songs from her iPod, and she never felt better. Just this year, a girl set a razor blade down on her counselor’s desk right after the assembly and said, “I guess I won’t be needing this any longer.”
Students have started youth groups, self-injury help groups, anti-bullying rallies, you name it, along with one guy who said he installed a CD player in his bus so his kids could hear all positive music on the way to and from school every day. I love hearing those kinds of stories. It gives me hope that all this blood, sweat and tears are worth it.
I want to inspire others to leave a positive legacy and use their talents to create change in our culture and save lives. I know one-day America’s teens will have a huge influence on my four kids, and for that reason, I am willing to keep sharing this life-saving message to all who will listen.
I love teens. I have hope in America’s youth. They deserve the best possible environment to live in and strive in. Whatever I can do to help them succeed is my main mission in life.
CLICK HERE for more of my chat with Tina.
Wow, thanks Kim! I’m so glad we’re working together to fight for our kids! Friends, we need your help to reach more teens with the message. Our year end goal is $50,000 and this is a tax-deductible gift. Please consider sponsoring an upcoming school or event by clicking the button below. Let’s impact more young lives together!
Question: What are you biggest needs, problems, fears or concerns regarding today’s entertainment and your children? You can leave a comment by clicking here.