The legacy question

Variety editorial

After his long and distinguished service to the film industry, it seems a shame that the contentious issue of the ban on Oscar screeners could be Jack Valenti’s lasting legacy.

Whatever impact the ban may ultimately have on curbing piracy, its immediate effect has been to polarize the movie biz, setting the creative community against the studios.

As head of the Motion Picture Assn. of America, Valenti clearly implemented the wishes of the major companies, led by Warners and Disney, in championing the ban. There was apparently little advanced dialogue with the independents or with the creative community and hence little in the way of anticipation of the outcry which has ensued.

Now, however, Valenti has a chance to salvage the situation by coming up with some sort of compromise. Perhaps videos, appropriately coded and dispatched, could be sent solely to Academy voters. Or the MPAA could make the ban voluntary, so that the niche labels within the studio fold could put out their screeners, while more commercial titles like “Lord of the Rings” and “The Last Samurai” could remain off-limits.

Since the studios have made the first moves toward eventually replacing the 80-year-old Valenti, it would be a shame to see his legacy sullied by this divisive issue.

More Film

  • Rashida Jones John Lasseter

    Rashida Jones Denies That She Left 'Toy Story 4' Over Unwanted Advance From John Lasseter

    After his long and distinguished service to the film industry, it seems a shame that the contentious issue of the ban on Oscar screeners could be Jack Valenti’s lasting legacy. Whatever impact the ban may ultimately have on curbing piracy, its immediate effect has been to polarize the movie biz, setting the creative community against […]

  • Dominique McElligott

    Film News Roundup: Dominique McElligott, Beau Bridges Join Boyd Holbrook's 'Two/One'

    After his long and distinguished service to the film industry, it seems a shame that the contentious issue of the ban on Oscar screeners could be Jack Valenti’s lasting legacy. Whatever impact the ban may ultimately have on curbing piracy, its immediate effect has been to polarize the movie biz, setting the creative community against […]

  • Coco Pixar

    John Lasseter Allegations Cast Shadow Over Disney-Pixar's 'Coco' Debut

    After his long and distinguished service to the film industry, it seems a shame that the contentious issue of the ban on Oscar screeners could be Jack Valenti’s lasting legacy. Whatever impact the ban may ultimately have on curbing piracy, its immediate effect has been to polarize the movie biz, setting the creative community against […]

  • John Lasseter

    Pixar's John Lasseter Was the Subject of a 'Whisper Network' for More Than Two Decades

    After his long and distinguished service to the film industry, it seems a shame that the contentious issue of the ban on Oscar screeners could be Jack Valenti’s lasting legacy. Whatever impact the ban may ultimately have on curbing piracy, its immediate effect has been to polarize the movie biz, setting the creative community against […]

  • Andy Serkis Flarsky

    Andy Serkis Joins Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron in 'Flarsky'

    After his long and distinguished service to the film industry, it seems a shame that the contentious issue of the ban on Oscar screeners could be Jack Valenti’s lasting legacy. Whatever impact the ban may ultimately have on curbing piracy, its immediate effect has been to polarize the movie biz, setting the creative community against […]

  • John Lasseter Pixar

    John Lasseter Takes Leave of Absence From Disney/Pixar, Apologizes for Unwanted Hugs

    After his long and distinguished service to the film industry, it seems a shame that the contentious issue of the ban on Oscar screeners could be Jack Valenti’s lasting legacy. Whatever impact the ban may ultimately have on curbing piracy, its immediate effect has been to polarize the movie biz, setting the creative community against […]

  • at&t time warner merger

    AT&T-Time Warner Merger: Does the DOJ Have a Case?

    After his long and distinguished service to the film industry, it seems a shame that the contentious issue of the ban on Oscar screeners could be Jack Valenti’s lasting legacy. Whatever impact the ban may ultimately have on curbing piracy, its immediate effect has been to polarize the movie biz, setting the creative community against […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content