Ratings system

Child protection vs artistic freedom
Dinner would have to wait. Eddie Schmidt and Kirby Dick wanted to interview me in connection with a documentary they were making for the Independent Film Channel (IFC), and Schmidt wanted to discuss the church’s relationship to the film industry. It looked like a promising interview. I should have known better.

At the time, I was in Los Angeles to attend an appeals hearing on a film’s rating by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), an assignment I have on behalf of the National Council of Churches’ Communications Commission. I was accompanied by a colleague from the Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting; both of us had been invited by the MPAA and the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) to act as what Jack Valenti describes as “outside witnesses” to the process.


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