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Posts Tagged ‘Motion Picture Association of America’

Major Media Companies to Launch ‘Educational Campaign’ on Violent Content

Joe Biden In the wake of the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook, quite a few national personalities and organizations like the NRA tried to place blame on the nebulous “media”, which supposedly encourages such horrific acts through its glorification of a “culture of violence” in movies, TV shows and video games.

Now representatives and lobbying groups representing major media companies have vowed to take initiative, creating a “nationwide educational campaign” designed to reassure skeptical parents and fulfill a promise made to VP Joe Biden that they would “be part of the solution to curb gun violence.”

Details of the campaign are scarce at the moment, but it will include TV PSA spots, social media initiatives and a relaunch of the sites TVBoss and FilmRatings. The larger point is to remind parents that ratings systems are there to give them a choice regarding their children’s media exposure and that they can use tools provided by the industry to assert greater control over what their kids watch. Participants include the Motion Picture Association of America, the National Association of Broadcasters, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the National Association of Theatre Owners, the American Cable Association (ACA) and member companies.

Will this campaign affect the public debate? Will it make use of related research? We don’t know–but it should be interesting. We’ll follow closely.

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Hollywood Pushes Back Against Zero Dark Thirty Critics

Zero Dark ThirtyWe haven’t seen Zero Dark Thirty yet, but we are intrigued by the PR back-and-forth between the film’s makers/promoters and various members of the US government. A couple of questions are central to the controversy:

  • Does the film glorify torture and imply that information gained during torture sessions eventually led to the location and assassination of Osama bin Laden?
  • Did the filmmakers act inappropriately in collecting information from confidential sources within the Central Intelligence Agency?

This is a bi-partisan issue; California Democrat Dianne Feinstein and Arizona Republican John McCain both voiced concern over the fact that the movie might lead Americans to see “enhanced interrogation” as an acceptable element of the US military’s intelligence arsenal. The conversation grew so heated that director Kathryn Bigelow found the need to release a public statement calling herself a “lifelong pacifist”, disavowing the use of torture and reminding everyone in the media that retweets do not equal endorsements. The senators have also sent a letter to the acting director of the CIA asking for more information in terms of the filmmakers’ discussions with members of the agency’s intelligence community.

Now the pushback on behalf of ZDT is growing stronger–and it’s an interesting case from a PR perspective.

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With Compromise, ‘Bully’ Gets PG-13 Rating

After weeks of doing battle with the Motion Picture Association of America over the R rating of the new documentary Bully, the Association and the filmmakers have compromised in order to get the PG-13 rating that The Weinstein Company wanted.

With some editing and rule bending, the film got the coveted rating, just in time for its wide release this coming weekend. To get the PG-13 designation, a couple of uses of the F-word were edited out, though others remain in the movie, specifically, in a bullying scene on a school bus. MPAA rules usually dictate that two F-words will earn a movie the R rating.

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Social Media Brings Bullying Issue to the Forefront

The power of social media to bring about change has been made evident once again with recent campaigns for the upcoming Weinstein Company documentary film Bully, which has spurred an online petition to the Motion Picture Association of America, a Twitter campaign and more than 400,000 views of the film’s trailer on YouTube.

The feature film is set to be released March 30. However, the film has an R rating for language. Change.org and a high school student have gathered more than 200,000 signatures on an online petition to the Motion Picture Association of America urging it to lower its rating to PG-13 so it can be seen by its target audience – older children and teens.

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Tech Beats Hollywood with SOPA Blackout, But the Battle Continues

Wikipedia is back! Oh how we missed you.

Hollywood faced off with Silicon Valley and lost lost LOST.

So says TheWrap: “It seems that Hollywood still does not realize that it is in the information age… But with lightning speed, the leviathans of the Internet, including Google and Facebook and Wikipedia, managed to brand this battle as Bad and mobilize millions of followers.” The day before the blackouts, the MPAA [Motion Picture Association of America] had characterized the pending blackouts as “stunts.” Well, sometimes stunts work.

By afternoon (ET), Mark Zuckerberg had expressed his opposition to the bills. “We can’t let poorly thought out laws get in the way of the internet’s development. Facebook opposes SOPA and PIPA, and we will continue to oppose any laws that will hurt the internet,” he wrote. During the course of the day, lawmakers were rethinking the bills. And President Obama has come out against the proposals. Forbes says 4.5 million signed Google’s petition and millions more were in touch with their Congressional reps.

Many in the PR industry were also pointing out how the bills could impact their businesses.

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MPAA’s CEO Quest Ends With Dodd

After a 15-month, Lost Ark-rivaling quest, the Motion Picture Association of America‘s search for a chairman-CEO has finally ended. The MPAA announced this week that five-term Connecticut senator and one-time presidential hopeful Christopher Dodd would take on the role.

Dodd didn’t sound a bit shaken when he told the L.A. Times that his years of cross-party work “putting together a financial reform bill and 50 percent of the healthcare bill” have adequately prepared him to wheel-and-deal among cut-throat movie execs, big challenges lie ahead for the former senator, whose only previous experience with Hollywood was a cameo in the 1993 Ivan Reitman movie Dave.

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Help Wanted: Hollywood Lobbyist

Former M.P.A.A. chairman Jack Valenti

The Motion Picture Association of America is looking for a chairman, a role proving hard to fill. The search for what the New York Times describes as Hollywood’s “chief lobbyist in Washington” has been conducted for nearly a year by three studio chairmen and headhunting firms.

The new chairman would replace former Kansas congressman Dan Glickman who took the job from Jack Valenti. Valenti was the Association’s chairman for almost 40 years.

Among the names mentioned are Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd (D), who’s retiring from Congress; Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, who is leaving that job; and former Hill & Knowlton executive Vickee Jordan Adams. She’s also the daughter of Vernon Jordan, former President Bill Clinton’s senior adviser.