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Ratings System

BUSINESS
April 8, 2010 | By Richard Verrier
Joan Graves has never published a movie review in her life, but she is arguably more powerful than any movie critic in the country. As the head of the movie ratings system for the Motion Picture Assn. of America, Graves presides over a 10-member board that rates more than 700 films annually and assigns them one of five grades, from G to NC-17. It's the kind of job that, it's safe to say, probably makes a lot of people wonder how the board comes up with that decision. Graves, a mother of two, says it often gets down more to gut feeling than rocket science: "What would I want to know about this film before I let my child see it?"
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 27, 2013 | By Joe Flint
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 23, 1996
In his Counterpunch piece ("Let's Pave a High Road for TV Ratings System," Dec. 9), Joel Federman attempted to dispute fears of censorship should television adopt a content-based ratings system, calling it an "unproved assumption" that content ratings will lead to a loss of advertisers. In fact, this assumption is very much proved. The last time the anti-media violence crowd got its way was in the 1950s, when horror comic books like "Tales From the Crypt" were blamed for all of society's ills, much like TV is being blamed now. A national comic book ratings system was instituted and stores were persuaded to stop carrying "violent" comics.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 2, 1985
I am glad to hear that most theaters do not enforce the movie ratings system all too consistently because the system is much too general. What is it about the magic age of 17 that makes kids all of a sudden ready to see R-rated movies? The fact is that most of us can handle these movies (without being corrupted) long before then, because our parents have taught us the difference between real life and celluloid. I do not believe that a movie theater should decide who can and cannot see a certain film according to a person's age. One more thing: Why do theaters that enforce the ratings system still charge adult rates to children who can't see adult movies?
ENTERTAINMENT
January 18, 1988 | JAY SHARBUTT, Times Staff Writer
Consider that the use of videocassette recorders is on the rise. A year ago, only 39.9% of the nation's homes with TV had them. Now the A. C. Nielsen Co. estimates that they're in 53.3% of those homes. Consider that the ratings company says prime-time TV viewing was down last year, although the industry-wide drop--1% from 1986 levels--"is not significant, statistically," says Paul Isaacson of Young & Rubicam, a major advertising agency here.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 12, 1991
In response to Jo Granch of Huntington Beach (Calendar Letters, Jan. 5): Why do you think the American public is being fooled by the NC-17 rating? The ones being fooled are those who are so naive and poorly informed about what is actually occuring with the ratings system, and the parents who neglect it. When the Motion Picture Assn. of America started the ratings system in 1968, the X rating was never registered through copyright laws. Because of this error on their part, producers of true hard-core pornography exploited the X rating with XX, XXX and Super X ratings on their films.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 3, 1999 | MATTHEW L. SPITZER, Matthew L. Spitzer is a professor of law at USC and at the California Institute of Technology
The mass murder and suicide by two teenagers in Colorado brought death and terror into our homes--live and in color. Many small children, accustomed to watching midday television, were treated to the horrific tragedy because news departments preempted regularly scheduled programming.
NEWS
December 20, 1996 | LYNN SMITH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Despite flaws, the new television ratings system offers a small step in the right direction toward helping parents control unsuitable programs in their homes. That was the conclusion of several parents from around Los Angeles County who gathered for a round table discussion at The Times on Thursday morning, just hours after the plan was unveiled in Washington. As a working single mother, Karen Carter of Long Beach said she cannot always monitor what her children, 13 and 15, watch on TV.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 18, 2001
The problem cited in Richard Natale's article on PG-13 and R ("Rated C for Confusing," March 11) goes back to the introduction of the ratings system in 1968 and stems from the decision to lump all adolescents together rather than have a separate category for 15- to 17-year-olds. The British and Scandinavian systems include a separate category for these ages, yet although our system is based on theirs, it didn't incorporate this category. Many of the films mentioned in the article, while questionable for 12- to 14-year-olds, are perfectly acceptable for 15- to 17-year-olds.
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