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Wednesday, 20 June, 2001, 10:35 GMT 11:35 UK
Lieberman steps up Hollywood attack
Joseph Lieberman
The senator has angered the film industry
Senator Joseph Lieberman is to step up his campaign to make Hollywood accountable for the influence of violent films on children.

The Connecticut senator has already expressed his concern that the entertainment business is actively marketing adult films to younger viewers.

Now Daily Variety reports he is planning to write to President George W Bush asking him to publicly back The Media Marketing Accountability Act.


Not only does this bill torment the First Amendment, it also turns film content advisories to parents into a legal liability for producers

Jack Valenti, Motion Picture Association of America
Mr Lieberman is calling for the White House to endorse legislation he is co-sponsoring with Senator Hillary Clinton, giving the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) limited authority to pursue the industry for violations.

The bill would prevent entertainment companies from engaging in advertising or marketing that is intentionally directed at minors or presented in child-orientated venues.

Aggressive marketing

Mr Lieberman feels strongly that the movie, music and video game industries are undermining their voluntary rating systems and deceiving parents by routinely and aggressively marketing heavily-violent, adult-rated products to children.

This view was endorsed by an FTC report, which put forward the concept of voluntary marketing codes.

A subsequent report found that only the games industry had agreed to adopt the code.

But the movie industry is fighting against any new legislation, fearing it will undermine its own efforts to protect minors.

President of the Motion Picture Association of America, Jack Valenti, said: "It will put an end to the movie industry's voluntary film rating system, because it penalises those distributors who participate in the voluntary rating system and gives total immunity from penalties to any producer who distributes a film without a rating.

"Not only does this bill torment the First Amendment, it also turns film content advisories to parents into a legal liability for producers."

The movie industry has followed a voluntary ratings system for the past 33 years.

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See also:

16 Aug 00 | Profiles
Joe Lieberman: Moral crusader
19 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Violent films have 'little impact'
07 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Eminem: Poet or bigot?
12 Sep 00 | Americas
Hollywood denies 'selling violence'
21 Jul 99 | UK
Will hip-hop take the rap?
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