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Joan Graves to Retire From MPAA’s Ratings Board, Will Be Succeeded by Kelly McMahon

WASHINGTON — Joan Graves, the longtime chair of the MPAA’s ratings board, the Classification and Rating Administration, will retire next year and will be succeeded by Kelly McMahon, who is currently the trade association’s vice president and corporate counsel.

Graves will step down later next year. In the interim, McMahon will serve as deputy chair of the ratings board.

MPAA chairman Charles Rivkin said that Graves’ “contributions and dedication to the success and endurance of the MPAA ratings are immeasurable. Our recent celebration of the ratings’ 50th anniversary is a testament to her legacy.”

The ratings administration was started in 1968 by then-MPAA chairman Jack Valenti, as a voluntary alternative to government censorship of movies. Graves started at the MPAA in 1988 as a member of the board, then served as administrative director and co-chair before she was promoted to chair in 2000. During her tenure, the MPAA added descriptors to the ratings, so parents could have further information on how a title got its rating. She also helped create a new position to act as a liaison to filmmakers and studios.

Graves estimated that she personally viewed about 12,500 movies in her years at the MPAA.

In her current role, McMahon is legal counsel to the ratings board, and also oversees the appeals process. She has been with the MPAA for 11 years, and previously worked at the Los Angeles-based law firm law firm Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Mitchell.

The MPAA said that Marilyn Gordon would continue to serve as vice chair of the ratings board, and senior vice president of advertising. In addition to movies, the board reviews advertising and publicity materials.

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