Theater owners cave to censorship demands of Clinton

Intolerant politicians are using the Littleton shootings to take away more of your rights. Last week, the Senate passed a bill that severely limits the Second Amendment rights of people under 18-years-old. This week, Democratic President Bill Clinton pressured the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) to aggressively check the IDs of customers who want to see R rated movies.

NATO may not agree with the President but they fear that without some action, he may make it illegal for teenagers to see R rated movies. At the moment, the movie rating system is voluntary. Movie theaters may actually allow anyone to see any R or PG-13 rated movies.

NATO mistakenly believes that the more aggressive ID policy will appease Clinton, who will continue to push for more censorship after the next school shooting. Clinton and the vast majority of Republicans and Democrats want to prevent you from seeing any movie more violent than Bambi; even violent cartoons will be banned. If not for huge financial contributions to both parties by major movie studios, it would already be illegal to most people of all ages to see violent and sexual movies.

Clinton’s political pressure is based on the widespread false belief that violent movies lead to violent behavior. Since the Littleton murderers liked to play Doom, people assume that Doom gave them the idea to shoot people.

Jonathan Kellerman recently wrote in The Wall Street Journal, “Numerous correlative studies (the president cited the figure as 300, but the actual number is closer to 1,000) indicate an association between media violence and aggression. But correlation is not causation; blue-eyed people tend to have blond hair, but one doesn’t cause the other. Despite years of research and tens of millions of tax dollars funneled into violence research, not a single causal link has been established between vicarious violence and actual violent crime. What’s more, in Japan, where the level of media violence is much higher than in the U.S., the rate of real-life violence is very low among both children or adults.”


Here is a press release from NATO:
SOURCE: National Association of Theatre Owners

WASHINGTON, June 8 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) announced a new, three-part campaign to enhance compliance with the industry’s voluntary movie rating system. The campaign will include a national ID-check policy for admission to “R” rated films, an education outreach effort to parents and community organizations, and the industry’s endorsement and assistance with a national study of the causes of teen violence.

William F. Kartozian, President of NATO, stated, “The motion picture exhibition industry participates in a voluntary movie rating system so that parents receive the information they need to ensure that children see films appropriate for their age. We have worked hard to educate our patrons about the ratings system, and to encourage our members to be vigilant in enforcement. For over 25 years movie theatre owners have turned away millions of dollars in business by participating in this voluntary system. It is important to understand that the success of this voluntary system is a combination of efforts — the efforts not only of NATO’s members, but also parents and the community working together to support this system and learn more about how to effectively use the ratings as a tool. We are pleased today to reaffirm our commitment to the rating system and the parents it serves.”

The National Association of Theatre Owners is a national trade association that represents 65% of the motion picture screens in the United States, with over 20,000 screens located in every state in the union. The details of the new campaign are attached to this statement.

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THEATRE OWNERS RATINGS ENFORCEMENT AND EDUCATION CAMPAIGN

The National Association of Theatre Owners announces a new, three-part campaign to enhance compliance with the industry’s voluntary movie rating system. The new campaign will include a national ID-check policy for admission to “R” rated films, an education outreach effort to parents and community organizations, and the industry’s endorsement and assistance with a national study of the causes of teen violence.

Purpose

The movie rating system is a voluntary system sponsored by the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) and the Motion Picture Association of America to provide parents with advance information on films, enabling the parent to make judgments on movies they want or do not want their children to see.

Previously, NATO has undertaken a variety of programs designed to enhance compliance with the rating system, including: weekly ratings bulletins for retention at the box office so that parents have access to the information; ratings updates and articles in the industry’s trade magazine; brochures and posters for use by NATO members and the public; a ratings training videotape for members to use with their employees; and a slide presentation about the ratings system for in-theatre programming. The new, three-prong campaign is designed to complement these ongoing efforts.

1. National ID-Check Policy
The movie rating system currently requires that patrons seeking admission to “R” rated films be seventeen years of age, or be accompanied by a parent or guardian. NATO reaffirms its cooperation with the parents of America to seek to ensure that young people view age appropriate movies. All of its members should require photo identification at the box office of young patrons not accompanied by a parent or guardian seeking admission to “R” rated films. NATO will encourage all of its members to post notices reflecting the “R” rated film admission policy, and to require photo identification for any young patron not accompanied by a parent or guardian.

2. Education Outreach Effort
NATO has begun to consult with the U.S. Catholic Conference, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and national parent organizations regarding the ratings system and the new ID-check policy. NATO will reach out to these groups, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and any other interested organizations to develop additional educational programs designed to enhance the ability of parents to make informed choices about the movies their children see.

3. National Study of the Causes of Teen Violence
In the context of new legislation on juvenile crime, Congress may require a study of the causes of teen violence, including the role of the entertainment industry and many other potential factors, to be conducted either by federal agencies or by a national commission. NATO endorses a national study of the causes of teen violence. NATO will also conduct its own study and provide any results to the appropriate officials or commission members. Again, NATO will reach out to the MPAA, academicians, parent groups, religious organizations and others to generate information and seek solutions which may be helpful.

Interested organizations or individuals with questions about the NATO campaign should write to NATO at 4605 Lankershim Blvd., Ste. 340, North Hollywood, CA 91602.

SOURCE: National Association of Theatre Owners