The hashtag #StopNRAmazon began trending on Twitter today, as Milano joined with Law & Order: SVU executive producer Warren Leight and actors Amy Hargreaves, Ally Walker, Evan Handler, Tara Strong and Misha Collins in putting NRATV in the social media cross-hairs.
“The only way to really begin to chip away at the power that the NRA holds over our country, and perhaps even our democracy, is to begin to almost shame companies that are in partnership with the NRA,” Milano told Deadline.
The role of NRATV came into focus in the aftermath of the Parkland, FL high school shooting last week. As leaders of the nation’s most powerful gun advocates kept a low profile, the New York Times examined how the organization’s online channel serves as its below-the-media-radar voice.
Online hosts talked about plots to confiscate weapons and a media plot to push a gun-control agenda on the American public. One recent video, titled “The Media Love Mass Shootings,” explored how news outlets relish human tragedy as a ratings bonanzas and blamed the media for creating mass murderers.
“The dirty secret is: mass shootings have become their Game of Thrones, their House of Cards, their Seinfeld and their Friends, all wrapped into one,” said host Colin Noir. “And whenever they get one, they wring out every last episode they can to juice their ratings and push their agenda, because tragedy is their business model.”
Noir described news outlets as reacting to each shooting like “a bunch of vultures, circling a dead carcass, salivating, waiting on the next town to feed on.”
The NRA devotes extensive resources — $35.5 million in recent years, according to the Times‘ examination of publicly available tax records — to “membership support” programs like NRATV, with its 36 original series featuring such nationally recognized figures as Oliver North and NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch, a former Tea Party activist and Breitbart editor.
The channel can potentially reach millions of homes via distribution on digital platforms including Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV, as well as online.
Amazon did not respond to a request for comment on the #StopNRAmazon initiative.
Milano said she and other activists, including Leight, talked about how to chip away at the NRA’s message. She said the social media campaign, applying pressure to a publicly traded company like Amazon, represents a cultural hack — an intentional effort to affect positive change.
‘The NRA is so engrained in the American culture now because of their very successful messaging of, ‘Don’t take away my gun’ or ‘You’re infringing on my Second Amendment rights,’ ” said Milano. “What a campaign like this allows is for a cultural hack. … We’re going to hack that by being responsible citizens and voicing our concerns.”