Got Your 6 today unveiled the first round of “6 Certified” projects, part of a continuing effort to recognize content that accurately and responsibly portrays veterans in popular media.
The feature films “American Sniper” and “Amira and Sam” and individual episodes or seasons of the television series “Dancing with the Stars,” “Hawaii Five-0,” “Modern Family” and “The Night Shift” are now “6 Certified.”
Earlier this year at an event featuring First Lady Michelle Obama, Got Your 6 launched the “6 Certified” initiative as a way to challenge industry executives and content creators to craft more thoughtful narratives around veterans and military families.
“Through ‘6 Certified’ we can battle the stereotypes and misconceptions about veterans that so often dominate popular culture, while drawing attention to projects that portray veterans reasonably and accurately,” said Chris Marvin, executive director of Got Your 6. “Each of the selected projects helps to craft a new cultural narrative with an asset-focused view of veterans.”
Got Your 6 announced today the selection of the following projects – the first ever group to be awarded “6 Certified” status:
“American Sniper” – A compelling look into the life of veteran Chris Kyle, “American Sniper” digs beyond Kyle’s record-breaking military career to present a fully realized and multidimensional veteran character, who is portrayed as both a family man and community volunteer. Warner Bros. Pictures
“Amira and Sam” – A cross-cultural love story about an Army veteran whose unlikely romance with an Iraqi immigrant is put to the test when she is faced with deportation. “Amira and Sam” bridges a great divide to foster understanding between cultures – and features a lead character who translates his operational training into a positive civilian role back at home. Drafthouse Films
“Dancing with the Stars” (Season 20) – The inclusion of contestant Noah Galloway, an Army veteran and double amputee who appeared on the recent 20th season of “Dancing with the Stars,” counters stereotypical portrayals of veterans as “charity cases.” Noah’s own motto, “No Excuses,” embodies the resilient qualities of many veterans who have been faced with loss. ABC
“Hawaii Five-0” (Episode 18, Season 5) – This exciting police procedural portrays veterans as leaders and problem solvers. The lead character Steven “Steve” J. McGarrett was a Navy SEAL and uses his operational training to aid him in his work as a civilian. CBS
“Modern Family” (Episode 22, Season 6) – This television program provides a balanced depiction of veterans through Ed O'Neill's character Jay Pritchett, who served in the Navy. The character’s time in service does not define him but merely adds another level of depth and color to the characterization. ABC
“The Night Shift” (Episode 12, Season 2) – Veteran characters on “The Night Shift” use skills they learned in the military to save lives on the show. “The Night Shift” creators collaborated with First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden for a recent episode that explored post-traumatic growth and resilience among veterans. NBC
The “6 Certified” program was enacted to encourage film and television creators to challenge misconceptions about veterans in popular culture and to foster a better understanding between veterans and civilians by moving away from the negative and stereotypical depictions of veterans and military families.
For a project to become “6 Certified” it must contain a representative and balanced depiction of veterans and fulfill at least one of the following pledges:
DO YOUR HOMEWORK Research or consult with real veterans, family members, or subject matter experts in an effort to create accurate representations
CAST A VETERAN Hire a veteran actor to play a substantial role
HIRE A VETERAN WRITER Employ a veteran writer to contribute to the narrative
PORTRAY A VETERAN CHARACTER Develop a multi-dimensional veteran character
TELL A VETERAN STORY Develop a narrative with meaningful and accurate veteran themes
USE VETERANS AS RESOURCES ON SET OR IN WRITERS’ ROOMS Have veterans present for consultation throughout the filmmaking process
A project that meets “6 Certified” eligibility requirements may be submitted by a studio or production company for consideration by the “6 Certified” Review Committee once that project enters post-production. The Review Committee is a group of subject matter experts who meet to review submissions for certification and grant “6 Certified” status. Currently, the members of the “6 Certified” Review Committee are Rajiv Chandrasekaran, journalist and author; Bruce Cohen, producer of “American Beauty” and “Silver Linings Playbook”; Greg Silverman, president, creative development and worldwide production, Warner Bros. Pictures; Charlie Ebersol, president and CEO of The Company; Chris Marvin, executive director, Got Your 6; Laura Law-Millet, Army veteran and Chief Operations Officer at the GI Film Group; and Major General (Ret) Sharon K.G. Dunbar, vice president, human resources, General Dynamics Mission Systems. Additional information on certification is available here.
The “6 Certified” program is operated by Got Your 6, a campaign to shift the public perception of America’s veterans and to empower returning service members to be leaders and civic assets. The campaign is named for the military term meaning “I’ve got your back” and was launched in 2012 in response to a call-to-action by First Lady Michelle Obama and her Joining Forces initiative.