×

TV and Movie Biz Support Rockefeller Plan to Study Violent Content (Updated)

The cable, movie and broadcast lobbies are throwing their support behind Senate Commerce Committee chairman Jay Rockefeller’s proposal for a comprehensive study of videogame and video violence, introduced in the wake of the Newtown massacre in December.

The Commerce Committee voted on Tuesday to move forward with the legislation, which calls for the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a comprehensive investigation into whether childhood exposure to violent videogame and video is harmful. The legislation also singles out videogames in calling for an investigation into whether its interactive nature “have a unique impact on children,” but it also identifies video, a broad category that could include everything from TV to Internet streaming.

“We welcome further academic examination of the reasons behind societal violence, as proposed by Senator Rockefeller, and will continue to be productive partners in the conversation about culture in America,” the MPAA and the National Cable and Telecommunications Assn. said in a statement on Tuesday.

The legislation, which calls for a 15-month study, is similar to that proposed by President Obama in January. His set of recommendations in the wake of the school killings called for the Centers for Disease Control to conduct a $10 million study.

Last week, National Assn. of Broadcasters President Gordon Smith said that they also supported Rockefeller’s bill, citing “conflicting scientific data” on “whether a link exists between violent content and real-life violence.”

The industry trade associations have launched a series of public service announcements and have enhanced guides instructing parents on content ratings, as well as TV parental controls.

The trade association representing the videogame industry, the Entertainment Software Assn., has maintained that studies have shown no causal relationship between violent videogames and childhood behavior. A spokesman for ESA did not have an immediate comment.

Rockefeller, a Democrat from West Virginia, has long been critical of violent content, although a Supreme Court decision in 2011 struck down California’s violent videogame law, raising serious doubts about the government’s ability to regulate violent media.

There is no word yet on when the legislation would get a floor vote on the Senate.

Update: The Electronic Software Assn. says that they have “always supported objective scientific research and appreciates the opportunity for an ongoing dialogue with Chairman Rockefeller and members of the Committee.” They also cited work to raise awareness of their ratings system and parental controls.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Beverly Hills Realtor Accused of Stealing

    Beverly Hills Realtor Accused of Stealing From Usher, Adam Lambert

    A Beverly Hills real estate agent has been arrested on charges of stealing from the homes of celebrities, including Usher, Adam Lambert and “Real Housewives” star Dorit Kemsley. Jason Emil Yaselli, 32, is accused of encouraging an accomplice, Benjamin Ackerman, to enter homes during open houses in order to steal from them. Ackerman allegedly sold [...]

  • Pod Save America Hosts on Trump

    'Pod Save America' Hosts on Trump, the Democratic Primary and What's Wrong With Cable News

    Like many Democrats, Tanya Somanader was blindsided by the 2016 presidential election. A veteran of the Obama White House and a former speechwriter and digital specialist for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Somanader was gearing up for a Hillary Clinton administration. Instead, she had to grapple with the reality of a Donald Trump presidency. “A lot [...]

  • Ann Sarnoff Warner Bros

    Ann Sarnoff Formally Takes Reins of Warner Bros. as CEO

    The Ann Sarnoff era at Warner Bros. has begun. Sarnoff formally took the reins as Warner Bros. chair-CEO on Thursday, two months after she was appointed to the post. Sarnoff told employees in a memo that she has been impressed by the company’s track record during the past year amid a period of upheaval for [...]

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein (L)

    Harvey Weinstein to Be Arraigned on New Indictment

    Harvey Weinstein is set to appear in court on Monday for an arraignment on a new indictment, the Manhattan D.A.’s office said Thursday. Prosecutors announced last week that they would seek a fresh indictment, which would allow actress Annabella Sciorra to testify at Weinstein’s trial. The move came after Justice James Burke ruled on Aug. [...]

  • AI Technology David Beckham

    How AI Tech Is Changing Dubbing, Making Stars Like David Beckham Multilingual

    David Beckham does not speak Arabic, Hindi or Mandarin. But when the soccer legend starred in a PSA for malaria awareness this spring, he effortlessly switched among these and six other languages, thanks to cutting-edge technology that could soon change how Hollywood localizes its movies and TV shows. The PSA in question was produced with technology [...]

  • Eminem Publisher Sues Spotify, Claiming Copyright

    Eminem Publisher Sues Spotify, Claiming Massive Copyright Infringement

    Eight Mile Style, a publishing company that holds administration rights to Eminem’s early catalog, filed a major copyright infringement lawsuit against Spotify late Thursday, claiming that the streaming giant has no license to host about 250 of Eminem’s songs, while also taking aim at the Music Modernization Act, the federal law enacted last year to [...]

  • iQIYI headquarters building in Beijing

    China’s iQIYI in Talks for Indonesia Expansion

    Chinese streaming firm iQIYI is in negotiations to expand further into Southeast Asia through a venture with Indonesia’s Media Nusantara Citra. iQIYI announced its first step outside Chinese-majority territories in June, when it revealed a linkup in Malaysia with pay-TV leader Astro. It also operates in Taiwan. In April, the company said that it planned [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content