Film lobbyist Jack Valenti dies at 85

April 27th, 2007 by Barry Caplan | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I attended today’s XFire debate on Censorship in games. A lot of ground was covered by the debaters and the crowd during the hour, b ut for the most part, the focus stayed on rating systems in the US and Europe, and whether retailers should be reponsible for enforcing regulations at the point of sale. There is much to say about this, and Iwill be providing more info as I can soon review and digest the transcripts.

Later today brought the news of the death of the man held responsible for the original content rating system for films in the US. We are all familiar with it, and it is worth looking at closely to see if it even works for movies in the way as a society we would like it to, before we blilndly apply it as a model to a baby medium like games or other online entertainment.

Still, since the body is still warm, let me just provide some links to the obituary of Jack Valenti:

Yahoo/AP:

When he took over as president of the Motion Picture Association of America, Valenti was caught between Hollywood’s outdated system of self-censorship and the liberal cultural explosion taking place in America.

Valenti abolished the industry’s restrictive Hays code, which prohibited explicit violence and frank treatment of sex, and in 1968 oversaw creation of today’s letter-based ratings system


Hollywood Reporter Esq.

During his MPAA tenure, foes considered Valenti Texas’ answer to Napoleon, and he was often scorned as a defender of the status quo in Hollywood. A strong personality with an unwavering loyalty to his employers, he was an ardent defender of the major motion picture studios who made up the MPAA and an eloquent proponent of their financial, as well as cultural, interests.

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