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Hollywood launches public awareness campaign for TV, movie ratings

February 27, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • Shows with lots of violence such as Fox's "The Following" are getting increased scrutiny.
Shows with lots of violence such as Fox's "The Following"… (Fox )

Concerned about a backlash against violent television shows and movies in the wake of several high-profile mass shootings, the entertainment industry is rolling out an advertising campaign it hopes will keep lawmakers off its back.

The goal of the initiative is to inform parents about the "many tools that can help them manage what their children see on television and at the movies." Among the groups backing the effort are the Motion Picture Assn. of America, National Assn. of Broadcasters, the National Assn. of Theatre Owners and the National Cable & Telecommunications Assn.

FULL COVERAGE: The culture of violence

The campaign will include spots on television promoting the TV and movie ratings system as well as information on how to block channels that parents may not want their kids to see.

But promoting the ratings system is not the only item on the agenda. Broadcasters, the group said, will work with the Associated Press and the Entertainment Industries Council to "develop public service initiatives related to mental health, including creating a style guide to help educate journalists, television and film producers, directors, and writers on mental health terminology."

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The moves come as some lawmakers have called for greater scrutiny of movies, television and video games to determine if they play a role in mass shootings and random violence.

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) is pushing for a study on the effects of violent content on children.

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Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.

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