The Washington-based nonprofit veterans group Got Your 6 has been working with the media industry to change the stereotypical portrayal of veterans in both television and film.
According to the group, the most common veteran stereotypes seen in media portray frail and broken soldiers, crazed and violent veterans as well as downright murderous representations.
The group also noted that the current portrayal of veterans in the television and the films significantly influenced the public’s overall perception of them. The nonprofit then stressed that the portrayals in media do not represent the whole veteran population.
“Our research shows that most people either view veterans as broken or heroic. It’s this duality of extremes that really doesn’t represent any of us. There’s this really dangerous and really misinformed area that Hollywood has been promoting, I think unknowingly. And part of our mission is combating that…as a result of several studios, writers’ rooms, producers, and entertainment partners all coming together and saying, ‘Hey, we want to help vets…We connect with folks at literally almost every stage of the creative process. We talk to directors, producers. The Hollywood piece is really critical because nobody has the ability to reach into living rooms as Hollywood does,” Executive Director William Rausch said in a LifeZette article.
Since its launch, the nonprofit group has recommended various television shows and films that positively portrayed the veterans under their 6 Certified program. Just last year the group certified the film “Sully,” which chronicled how a former pilot made an unprecedented forced water landing on the Hudson River in New York.
Another certified program was the USA Network television show “Shooter,” which featured a seasoned marine sniper who lived in self-imposed exile following a failed mission. (Related: Here’s how the US government treats vets: VA disability claims found shredded in the garbage.)
The veterans group also recently lauded a number of films and T.V. shows that were in line with the organization’s goal of positive portrayal among veterans.
Among the major recipients of this year’s certification program included CBS’ “SEAL Team.” A CBS press release stated that the company put veterans both in front of and behind the camera to accurately and effectively portray them.
The group also certified the biographical film “Rebel in the Rye.” The biopic chronicles the wartime experiences of the “Catcher in the Rye” author J.D. Salinger.
Other programs certified by the nonprofit group included the television comedy “Great News,” Myx TV’s “My Motto: Veterans Edition,” and the films “Served Like a Girl” and “Blood Stripe.”
“The national veteran empowerment organization Got Your 6 launched the 6 Certified initiative in early 2015 as part of its mission to change the veteran ‘broken/hero’ stereotype held by 80 percent of U.S. civilians. The program challenges entertainment industry executives and content creators to craft more thoughtful narratives around veterans and military families,” a Got Your 6 press release read.
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