Date: 26th September 2000

L, V And S May Join R

Responding to Washington critics who have accused the movie industry of marketing violent films to underaged children, the Motion Picture Association of America, as early as today, is expected to unveil a number of proposals that it hopes will mollify its antagonists, published reports said. The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the situation, reported that at least one studio, Warner Bros., plans to offer a plan that goes beyond MPAA policies.

Reports said that the studios intend to provide better explanations of R-rated films in their advertising, refrain from showing trailers for R-rated films in theaters playing G-rated films, encourage exhibitors to be more diligent in enforcing the ratings, bar children from research screenings of movies that are likely to be rated R, and enlist video retailers in a campaign to prevent R-rated movies from being rented to underage children.

Warner Bros. is expected to announce that it will stop buying ads for R-rated movies on TV shows that attract a large (35 percent) audience of children under 17 and include additional letters, similar to those used on TV ("L" for language, "V" for violence and "S" for sex) in ads for R-rated films. Today's Washington Post quoted one unidentified "mogul" as saying, "Of course we'll take a hit at the box office, but I can't let it concern me, because I have no control over it. ... We'll have to be smarter about what we green-light..."

Senior executives of the major film studios are expected to testify about the new ratings mechansim before the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday.

Source: Studio Briefing