THE CLINTON-GORE ADMINISTRATION:
WORKING TO PROTECT YOUTH FROM MOVIE VIOLENCE
“For ratings systems to work, they must be enforced. Not just by watchful parents, but by retailers at the point of sale, and theatre owners at the multiplex. You shouldn’t have to worry that your “G”-rated kids are getting into violent or suggestive “R”-rated movies.”
President Bill Clinton
June 8, 1999
Today, at the White House, President Clinton announced a new nationwide movie ratings enforcement and educational effort in cooperation with the National Association of Theatre Owners. The plan includes a new national policy under which movie theatre owners will require photo identification from young people seeking admission to “R”-rated films; an educational outreach program for parents about the ratings system and the new ID-check policy; and support by the theatre owners for a national study on the causes of violence. The President also reiterated his call on Congress to move quickly to pass common-sense gun legislation.
Enforcing Movie Ratings. The President joined leaders of the National Association of Theatre Owners in announcing a new nationwide movie ratings enforcement and educational effort. The National Association of Theatre Owners is a national trade association that represents 65% of the motion picture screens in the United States. Under the policy announced today, the Association will require all of its members to ask for photo identification at the box office from young patrons seeking admission to “R”-rated films who are not accompanied by a parent or guardian. The Association will also ask theatre owners to post notices reflecting the “R” rating admission policy.
Educating Parents on the Ratings System. The theatre owners announced a national community education effort in conjunction with parents’ and religious organizations to educate parents on the movie ratings system and new ID-check policy. The educational outreach will work to develop programs to help parents make informed choices about which movies are appropriate for their children.
Studying the Causes of Youth Violence. The theatre owners declared their support for a national study on youth violence. The President announced last month at the White House Strategy Session on Children, Violence and Responsibility that the Surgeon General would issue a report on youth violence next year.
Urging Responsibility in Entertainment. The President repeated his challenge to the movie industry to reevaluate its entire ratings systems, especially the “PG-13" rating, to determine whether it is allowing too much gratuitous violence in movies approved for viewing by children. The President has urged the entertainment industry to take other responsible steps, including calling on the video game, recording and movie industries not to market violence to children. Last week, the President announced a joint study of entertainment industry marketing practices by the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department .
Challenging Congress to Pass Common-Sense Gun Legislation. Last month, the Senate passed tough new provisions to close the gun show loophole; require child safety locks with every new handgun sold; ban the importation of large capacity ammunition clips; and prohibit violent juveniles from owning guns as adults. The President called on the House to strengthen -- not weaken -- the Senate-passed bill, to include provisions to raise the age of handgun possession from 18 to 21 and require background checks for explosives purchases. The President also reiterated his commitment to combat any effort by the gun lobby to riddle the House bill with dangerous new loopholes and water down critical safety measures passed by the Senate.
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