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Ratings System

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.
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?
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?"
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.
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.
May 8, 2012 | By John Horn, Nicole Sperling and Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
The most reliable predictor of box-office success these days may not be a marquee name or a masked superhero. It's thePG-13rating. Created in 1984 in the wake of the sometimes scary PG-rated movies "Gremlins" and "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" to warn parents that some movies might be inappropriate for young kids, thePG-13 has become an inclusive Good Housekeeping seal of approval - an imprimatur that promises adults won't be offended and...
March 7, 1987
The film-ratings travesty, which has recently made a victim of Alan Parker's "Angel Heart," has many villains. Not only is the Motion Picture Assn. of America at fault, but also Tri-Star Pictures, theater chains, television stations and newspapers in general. Each has a simple solution at its fingertips and refuses to employ it. The MPAA could adopt an A or AO rating. They have that power. Jack Valenti's excuse for not doing so is, to say the least, insufficient (Saturday Letters, Feb. 28)
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.
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.
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