A panel of entertainment industry leaders, joined by First Lady Michelle Obama, announced today a new certification program to promote a fair portrayal of veterans in film and television.
The Got Your 6 advocacy group created the “6 Certified” label, which can be earned by works that depict veterans in a balanced way. The work must meet at least one of six pledges:
- Research or consult with veterans, family members, or experts on the topic.
- To cast a veteran in the project.
- To have a veteran as a writer on the project.
- To portray a veteran character in the work.
- To tell the story of a veteran in the project.
- Or, to use veteran(s) as a source during the writing process on set.
“Got Your 6” comes from the military term that means “got your back.” The campaign aims to help with the reintegration of military veterans into civil life. And the organization, in partnership with other nonprofits and Hollywood, recognizes that the portrayal of veterans in mainstream media and entertainment has an impact on the reintegration process.
The “6 Certified” label aims to promote works that tell stories of veterans in a more representative and accurate way, and prevent extreme stereotypical representations of veterans as either just “heroes” or just “victims.”
The two headliners of the event have had plenty of experience working to promote veteran stories.
The Got Your 6 campaign was launched in 2012 shortly after Michelle Obama’s Joining Forces initiative called for more positive representations of veterans.
Along with doing USO events for over 8 years, Bradley Cooper recently starred in the hugely successful and award-nominated American Sniper (which would no doubt earn the 6 Certified distinction).
This seems like a great step for the entertainment industry, as it is a push towards better storytelling and away from stereotypical portrayals. And, more importantly, this could represent a positive change in the public perception and reintegration of veterans back into civilian life.