The NC-17 rating received a seal of approval from religious and exhibition leaders at the three-day quarterly board meeting of the National Assn. of Theater Owners in Toronto.

The new rating received a thumbs up from representatives of the U.S. Catholic Conference, the National Council of (Protestant) Churches and Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Assn. of America, when they sat in on a meeting of the MPAA Classification and Rating Administration, according to NATO president William Kartozian.

Various factions have opposed the rating based on the fact that NC-17 ratings are determined by the same criteria previously used for the X.

Kartozian did not quarrel with those who equate the NC-17 with the X, but he said a significant measure of the progress achieved under the NC-17 is the fact that the new rating is not automatically treated as a designation of a hardcore sex film.

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