you know it's campaign season when they're blaming the media for violence (while no one considers dismantling the military...but anyway).
Ooooookay, I gotta admit I agree with some of the points in the article that I'm about to post below. Violence movies ARE marketed to kids (think "Terminator 2", a horribly violent film that positioned a young teenage boy as a central character, apparently to appeal to 12-16 year old boys...admit it, the kid wasn't there for his acting skill...). Anyway, peep the article...
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The entertainment industry rejected federal accusations Monday that it sells violence to children in music, movies and video games. Executives suggested they deserve praise for cleanup efforts rather than government ``bludgeoning.''
Political leaders, including President Clinton and the men campaigning to replace him, said the industry must do much more.
Vice President Al Gore suggested action should be taken if changes aren't forthcoming.
Industry leaders and spokesmen lined up to challenge a Federal Trade Commission report that concluded that movies rated ``R'' - which require an adult to accompany children under 17 - and video games that carry an ``M'' rating for 17 and over are routinely targeted toward younger people.
- On CDs: ``As an industry, we do not market violence; we market artists,'' said Hilary Rosen, president and chief executive officer of the Recording Industry Association of America. ``When material is explicit, we clearly label it for parents and guardians to make informed buying decisions for their kids.''
- On movies: ``There is no enterprise in America that is more attentive to the parents of this country than the movie industry,'' said Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Association of America. Commenting before the report was released, he said, ``Instead of bludgeoning us, I think Congress should say congratulations to the movie industry.''
- On video games: ``I don't think making threats and issuing deadlines is constructive in the long run,'' said Douglas Lowenstein, president of the Interactive Digital Software Association, the trade group for the video game industry.
They were reacting both to the report and to the strong comments from the campaign trail.
Democrat Gore urged a voluntary ``cease-fire'' in marketing inappropriate material to children - and threatened federal action if the industry failed to respond within six months. And running mate Joseph Lieberman, who has fought with the industry about sex and violence before, said the report confirmed ``what millions of parents around the country have felt.''
Republican George W. Bush also said the industry needed to do more ``to reduce the violence that our children see on the screen.'' He took a crack at Gore, too, noting the millions of dollars that Gore and Clinton have received from the entertainment industry in political contributions.
Clinton, not running for anything but campaigning for wife Hillary in New York, said, ``Something has to be done. ... They say these rating systems mean something. They can't turn around and advertise to people that shouldn't see this stuff.''
The FTC pointed to materials submitted by the industry showing plans to promote their products to underage audiences. One document disclosed that a company's primary market for M-rated video games was boys 12-17. Despite the age rating, ``the younger the audience, the more likely they are to be influenced by TV advertising,'' the document said.
A marketing plan for an R movie stated its purpose was to ``make sure everyone between the ages of 12-18 was exposed to the film.''
Company names were edited out.
`It's their documents. They knew what they were doing,'' FTC Chairman Robert Pitofsky said.
The movie industry was criticized both for showing movie trailers, or coming attractions, for violent films to young audiences and for allowing underage patrons to buy tickets to R-rated films.
Valenti said he would deliver a formal response Wednesday when he testifies before a hearing on the subject by the Senate Commerce Committee.
Lowenstein, the video game executive, said the report largely confirmed that the industry was already doing what it could to market games responsibly.
``Virtually everywhere they go, we're already there,'' he said of the commission. ``To the extent that these practices exist, we condemn them and we've taken steps to prevent a recurrence.''
The FTC, hoping to avoid a First Amendment constitutional fight, is not pressing for more legislation. The commission wants the industry to expand voluntary codes.
Some entertainment industry executives said they sympathized with the underlying concern expressed by the report, even as they took issue with its findings.
In one case, the FTC conducted an undercover survey of movie theaters and found that just over half enforced age restrictions.
``America's theater owners and operators have taken responsible measures to increase enforcement of the ratings,'' said John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners.
``We are not satisfied, however, with the level of enforcement reflected in the commission's mystery shopper survey. We will redouble our efforts at the box office to investigate other enforcement mechanisms.''
>(think "Terminator 2", a horribly >violent film that positioned a >young teenage boy as a >central character, apparently to appeal >to 12-16 year old boys...admit >it, the kid wasn't there >for his acting skill...).
they tried to throw a little morality in there as a central theme with the kid 'teaching' the terminator not to blast everything in sight.
know what you mean though, every kid wants to be the badass. they prolly could do more to make ratings less arbitrary, and to enforce them better. ______________________________________
2. "RE: television eats children" In response to Reply # 0
Hey, I've got an idea! How about movie theaters actually enforcing movie ratings instead of letting anybody in? Even though I was tall for my age, saw my first R rated movie with no parents at the age of 12.
How about stores that sell video games actually enforcing their ratings? Music stores too.
I do agree that movies, video games, and music are more violent than when I was growing up, but there are plenty of parents and adults out there that aren't doing their jobs.
I used to sell cds back in the day. One day, this ultra-suburban lady walks up to me with her 9 to 12-year-old son and asks me if Coolio's Gangsta Paradise was appropiate for him. I politely pointed out the parental advisory and listening station. But she stands there giving me a "you're-Black-and-should-know" look. So I told her yes, it was.
Plus, I know I've sold some hip hop and rock to a bunch of little Jimmy Wannabebadasses. I got a kick out it. Thinking about how their mommy and daddy will freak when they walk in their room and hear their kids singing "Who's that coming through my window, pooooow, nobody nooooow!" I still get a little kick out of it.
But, it's up to the parents to monitor what kids listen to and watch. And eventually they should trust them enough to know if they are easily influenced or not.
By the way, I was also that kid who, at 11, was buying R rated movie tickets for myself and the friends who couldn't get in. But, I was a grown looking kid, still no one bothered to ID me. I admit, not being ID'd for ANYTHING while I was growing up did make me grow up faster, but my mother wasn't really trying to control me much. I was that latchkey kid whose babysitter was cable tv.
Okay, I made my point. Plus, I'm sleepy. Yawn!
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you can put a label on everything you want, but if the people who actually SELL the products don't pay attention what's the point. if anything a big label will ARTTRACT kids. as a parent you HAVE to know what your kids are taking in because ultimately the only one who has to care is you.
As an industry, of course record/movie/game companies are gonna sell to who has the most disosable cash, ie - kids/teens. Isn't their purpose to make money? why should they care about your or my kids?
Personally, I think folks are just looking for something to bitch about and someonbe to blame in this case.
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6. "RE: dismantle the military?" In response to Reply # 5
I just came across an article written by John Irving in 1992 for the NY Times Book Review discussing some proposed anti-pornography legislation, in which he cites two federally funded studies that found no causative correlation between pornography and sex crimes or violent crimes. He also makes the point that rape and child molestation existed long before there was TV or film.
I've always been a little bit amazed by the strong aversion to sex that is exhibited in this country and the resulting prohibitions -- particularly related to allowing or not allowing children to see sex portrayed in film -- especially in view of the acceptance of violence. There's a tremendous amount of violence that just goes under the radar screen. What about those damn cartoons? Last I saw (admittedly it's been a few years) they were incredibly violent.
I think you're right, that there are likely to be good arguments on both sides, but to the extent that watching violence portrayed on TV or in films inures us to the horror (whether or not we are inspired to pick up a weapon), I think that is dangerous. If we view violence as normal or acceptable, it seems to me that we're more likely to just stop worrying about random violence or anonymous violence, and only care if someone we care about is the victim of violence.
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I've always hated it when the federal government gets caught up in outrage over popular entertainment. But, this time around, I really think there's reason to be concerned. The problem isn't that musicians, directors, or video game makers are creating violent products. The problem is purely in the marketing. These corporations are pushing material they know to be inappropriate onto our kids by advertising and promoting stuff through kid-oriented media channels.
The movie, video game, and music industries have been saying they are going to police themselves; that they'll make it clear what is and isn't appropriate for kids so that parents can make good choices. Seems like they haven't been policing themselves effectively. These companies are actively seeking out youth markets for the very products they have labeled as inappropriate! Personally, I would like to have the government step in and regulate these corporations' marketing practices. If the federal government could fine companies for intentionally exposing young kids to violence, it may eventually have an impact on how the industry approaches this material.
Gore and Bush, and the congressional committee that's having these hearings seem to be more concerned with censorship than holding the corporations accountable for their marketing strategies. They're more pissed off at Eminem for saying he wants to kill someone on his record than at MTV, who promote his album on a show whose audience is mostly pre-teens. If we want to keep this violent crap away from our kids, we need a federal government that's willing to hold these corporations and media outlets accountable. I doubt that will happen, though. I expect they'll keep scapegoating all the artists doing edgy adult-oriented entertainment. And the corporations can just ditch that particular artist once they become a political liability...