Movie director Quentin Tarantino has defended violence in movies following Friday's school shootings in Newton, Connecticut, which left 26 dead. The Django Unchained director said he was tired of defending his films each time the U.S. is shaken by gun violence, saying, "tragedies happen," reports BBC News.

His lead actor Jamie Foxx said big screen violence can certainly influence people, telling press at a junket in New York, "We cannot turn our back and say that violence in films or anything that we do doesn't have a sort of influence. It does." Django Unchained follows the story of a slave living in the Deep South, who sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner, played by Leonardo Dicaprio. Kerry Washington - who plays Foxx's on-screen wife - said, "I do think that it's important when we have the opportunity to talk about violence and not just kind of have it as entertainment, but connect it to the wrongs, the injustices, the social ills." 20 children and six women died in the assault on Sandy Hook school by a lone gunman - thought to be Adam Lanza, 20 - last week. He shot dead his mother before driving to the school in her car.

Premieres for Tom Cruise's new violent action flick Jack Reacher were cancelled in light of the events in Newton, while the Fox network cancelled forthcoming episodes of Family Guy and American Dad.