N.Y. Bill Would Ban Kids Under 17 From R Films

People under 17 would be barred by law from movie theaters during the showing of an R-or NC-17-rated film if a bill under consideration in the New York State legislature becomes law.

Assemblyman Neil W. Kelleher (R-C Rensselaer) has introduced a bill in the New York assembly that would make the owner, lessee, manager or employee of a theater criminally liable for allowing minors to enter the theater when these films were being shown.

Minors are already prohibited from theaters showing NC-17 films by voluntary restrictions established by the Motion Picture Assn. of America; those same guidelines require that minors be accompanied by a parent or guardian to R pics.

But according to Kelleher, “There have been numerous instances of misguided parental supervision. For all practical purposes, [the voluntary restrictions] are unenforceable. Adults who are not parents or guardians often accompany children. In addition, parents often take small children to an inappropriate movie in order to view it themselves.”

He went on to note: “Graphic depictions of violence, forced sexual acts and scenes designed to inflict terror can traumatize children and warp perceptions of society. Theaters are powerless to remove small children, even when their reaction is obvious. This

[bill] would allow enforcement and correct a serious problem.”

But the MPAA believes the bill violates the First Amendment guarantee of free speech. “The ratings are used as guidelines and are not legal determinations as to whether a film is obscene or harmful to minors,” says MPAA v. p. Gail Markels. “We support the goals of the legislation, but believe that the industry voluntarily regulates itself and that this type of legislation is unnecessary and unconstitutional.”

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading