WASHINGTON — Hollywood creatives and cultural conservatives may not be happy with the Motion Picture Assn. of America’s 30-year-old content code, but parents still like it, according to a survey commissioned by the MPAA.
The survey found that 76% of U.S. parents find the ratings system useful. The MPAA has paid for the annual poll every year since 1967 and has consistently found that the parents like the age-based content code.
“I am pleased but not necessarily surprised by these results,” said Jack Valenti, MPAA prexy and CEO, “The ratings were designed for parents, not film critics, directors or studios.”
Hollywood creatives have been highly critical of the ratings system, saying it is out of date. The debate became particularly hot in the last few months when the MPAA ordered changes to Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut” in order to screen sexual content as the film sought a less-restrictive rating.
The Federal Trade Commission is also investigating the ratings system. FTC officials are looking into allegations that studios are marketing films to kids which the industry’s own content code says are inappropriate for them.
Meanwhile, during an speech to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on Wednesday, Valenti said that morality should be taught in schools. Valenti, who has suggested that youngsters should be taught “permanent standards” through a course called “What Is Right and What Is Plainly Wrong” should be taught to kids from pre-school to fifth grade.