Ad 46

Publication(s): 
Variety
Date of first publication: 
2007-07-13T00:00:00
Headline: 
"The MPAA's adoption of a highly-subjective policy is not enough to curb the influence of smoking in the movies on the health of children." — Senators Durbin, Kennedy and Lautenberg
Text: 
Can we talk about the R-rating like adults? “The MPAA’s adoption of a highly subjective policy is not enough to curb the influence of smoking in the movies on the health of children.” —U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) and Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), June 22, 2007 The question isn’t if the rating system should consider tobacco images. The MPAA has already agreed that it must. The question is how. Will it be a clear, simple measure that substantially and permanently reduces kids’ exposure to on-screen smoking? Or will it be vague, subjective and arbitrary, like the MPAA’s May 10 trial balloon? [See text] Read it closely: The MPAA’s PR-driven policy doesn’t bind the major studios or the MPAA ratings board to do anything about smoking. They merely “may.” On June 22, a House Subcommittee on Tele-communications and the Internet hearing, “Images Kids See on Screen,” chaired by Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA), spotlighted the continuing problem of movie smoking. Vermont attorney general Bill Sorrell hasn’t bought into the MPAA’s announced rating policy. Senior U.S. Senators have already concluded that the policy is insufficient to protect kids’ health. Meanwhile, the MPAA’s failed public relations gimmick will still be inflicted on the rest of the film community. What can you do about it? Instead of making the MPAA rating system even more subjective, rate future smoking “R” in a straightforward, honest and effective way. This will: 1 ) Avert 60,000 future tobacco deaths a year in the U.S. alone. 2 ) Help protect the film industry from potential legal liability. 3 ) Leave filmmakers free to include smoking in their films, while giving producers a clear and reliable guideline on tobacco content. Getting tobacco out of future G, PG and PG-13 films is the single most important contribution your industry can make to the future wellbeing of young people, around the world. It’s so easy. Who’s stopping you? [SIDEBAR] Which tobacco rating can YOU live with? “R” for arbitrary? “All smoking will be considered and depictions that glamorize smoking or movies that feature pervasive smoking outside of an historic or other mitigating context may receive a higher rating...Additionally, when a film’s rating is affected by the depiction of smoking, that rating will now include phrases such as ‘glamorized smoking’ or ‘pervasive smoking.’” — MPAA Or “R” for real? “Any film that shows or implies tobacco should be rated ‘R.’ The only exceptions should be when the presentation of tobacco clearly and unambiguously reflects the dangers and consequences of tobacco use or is necessary to represent the smoking of a real historical figure.” — Parents, Health Professionals and Policy Makers See how the real R-rating works at SmokeFreeMovies.ucsf.edu
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