The Trouble With Movies Kids & TV: A Get-Real Guide
What Do You Think About Media Ratings?
PG-13. TVY7-FV. E. Parental Advisory. What do these mean to you?
Very little, say researchers at the National Institute on Media and the Family. Parents told
them last year that rating systems for movies, TV, video games, and music are confusing and inconsistent and not strict enough.
A group that includes the National Institute, the American Medical Association, and the National PTA is calling for a universal rating system and a monitoring committee made up of parents, experts, and entertainment officials.
Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and Representative Steve Israel (D-NY) proposed bills last spring that would allow the Federal Trade Commission to regulate the current rating systems as well as fine companies that market adult material to children. Both the Senate and the House bills are still in committee.
Hollywood leaders, including the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America, oppose these measures. They say they've already made changes in response to criticism over marketing techniques and argue that each medium is so different that it would be impossible to establish a universal rating system. What's more, they say, an oversight panel would have trouble reviewing the 650 films, 1,300 computer and video games, and 40,000 music releases each year not to mention 2,000 hours of daily TV programming.
[In the print version they followed this with a mail-in survey:]
Where do you stand? (check one):
- There should be one rating system and an oversight board.
- The four systems in place can work, but entertainment is often mislabeled.
- The rating and monitoring systems are fine as they are.