Steven Spielberg Uses E.T. to Battle Drunk Driving

Steven Spielberg, a name synonymous with cinematic brilliance, has not only enchanted audiences with his storytelling prowess but also utilized his influence to advocate for societal well-being. Among the myriad issues that stir his passion, drunk driving occupies a particularly dark spot, as revealed in a 1985 interview with Rolling Stone. Spielberg’s detestation for this perilous behavior is profound, leading him to leverage his iconic film, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, as a platform for a major anti-drunk-driving campaign.

Steven Spielberg Uses E.T. to Battle Drunk Driving: A Hollywood Legend’s Fight for Safer Roads
Steven Spielberg during an interview with Rolling Stone in 1985, where he shared his views on drunk driving.

The Iconic Film as a Beacon for Change

In 1982, Spielberg released E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, a film that not only captured the hearts of millions worldwide but also served as a poignant medium for social change. During his interview, Spielberg expressed his deep-seated aversion to drunk driving, stating, “What makes me the most hurt and upset is drunk driving. I lent E.T. to do a major anti-drunk-driving campaign. But that’s not enough.” His commitment extended beyond mere advocacy, embodying a call to action for stricter enforcement and responsible societal behavior.

Steven Spielberg Uses E.T. to Battle Drunk Driving: A Hollywood Legend’s Fight for Safer Roads
Iconic scene from Spielberg’s 1982 film, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, used in a major anti-drunk-driving campaign.

Envisioning a Direct Role in Law Enforcement

Spielberg’s passion for this cause is so intense that he once fantasized about taking matters into his own hands. He vividly described an instance where he witnessed a dangerous driving incident on Hollywood Boulevard: “I saw someone last night driving down Hollywood Boulevard through three lanes, one of them oncoming traffic. I fantasize when I see that. I wish myself into a severe L.A. sheriff’s uniform, with all the stuff that jingles and dangles and the .357 Magnum and the hat and the sunglasses and a motorcycle with the bright blue and red light, and I would love to take that person off the road.”

Spielberg’s Legacy: Beyond the Silver Screen

Steven Spielberg’s influence stretches far beyond the confines of the movie theater. His active stance against drunk driving and his use of his artistic creations for social advocacy reflect his multifaceted identity as both a filmmaker and a responsible citizen. Through his films and public statements, Spielberg continues to be a potent force for societal change, demonstrating that one’s work can indeed resonate with and effect meaningful action in the real world.

Steven Spielberg Uses E.T. to Battle Drunk Driving: A Hollywood Legend’s Fight for Safer Roads
Steven Spielberg’s passion for public safety led him to use E.T. to raise awareness about drunk driving.

A Continuous Fight for a Safer Tomorrow

Steven Spielberg’s campaign against drunk driving, though rooted in the 1980s, remains a relevant and inspiring example of how individuals in positions of influence can foster significant societal improvements. His ongoing dedication to this cause encourages a collective responsibility towards safer roads and, ultimately, a safer society. As Spielberg himself put it, the fight against drunk driving requires the effort of everyone, from filmmakers to law enforcement, to every individual who steps behind the wheel.

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