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TV, Film Industries Launch Ratings Awareness Campaign

27 Feb, 2013 By: Chris Tribbey

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and several other TV and film organizations have launched a new public service effort to inform parents about TV and movie violence.

The campaign comes a little over a month after the MPAA and others groups met with the White House Task Force on Gun Violence to discuss entertainment’s role in gun violence, following the December mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

“The entertainment community appreciates being included in the dialogue around the administration’s efforts to confront the complex challenge of gun violence in America,” the Directors Guild of America, the Independent Film and Television Alliance, MPAA, NAB, the National Association of Theatre Owners and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association said in a joint statement. “This industry has a longstanding commitment to provide parents the tools necessary to make the right viewing decisions for their families.”

The groups’ multimedia public service campaign aims to raise parental awareness of TV and film ratings, available parental controls, media literacy and mental health issues via TV public service announcements, educational websites and in-theater ads.

The campaign will remind parents of what controls TVs and set-top boxes have to control access to content, via TheTVBoss.org, “a one-stop solution for consumers seeking more information about the TV and movie ratings systems, parental control technology and media literacy.”

The MPAA has also revamped FilmRatings.com to offer more detailed information on the meaning of ratings. Broadcasters will develop public service announcements related to mental health, in the hopes of educating journalists and TV and film industry workers on mental health terminology. 

In response to the Sandy Hook shootings — where 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults — Wayne LaPierre, CEO and EVP of the National Rifle Association laid part of the blame on media and “blood-soaked films” that are “aired like propaganda loops on Splatterdays and every single day.”

“Isn’t fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography?” he said during a December press conference. “In a race to the bottom, many conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate and offend every standard of civilized society, by bringing an even more toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty right into our homes. Every minute, every day, every hour of every single year.”

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