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Today, the Parents Television Council called upon House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to swiftly pass the Family Movie Act Clarification Act, thereby delivering a Christmas gift for families. The bill would allow families, in their own homes, to filter out graphic and explicit program content from movies and television programs they choose to stream via bona fide distribution platforms.
“With the quickly approaching end of 2018 and, along with it, the quickly approaching end of this session of Congress, we call on our elected leaders in Washington immediately to pass the Family Movie Act Clarification Act and present it to the President for his signature, thereby providing an important and urgently-needed Christmas present for parents and for families,” said PTC President Tim Winter.
“The legislation is a no-brainer. It simply brings the Family Movie Act – which allows families to filter explicit content from DVDs – onto contemporary streaming media platforms used by most Americans today. The pending legislation is consistent with, and perfectly honors, the Congressional intent expressed when the original measure became law in 2005.
“Major Hollywood studios have filed legal challenges to prevent the use of technological tools that parents could engage to filter age-inappropriate content, this despite the fact that those tools would likely bring new sources of revenue from potentially millions of new customers. Why would a corporation wage a war against a consumer technology that would earn it more profit? And why would those same corporations spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in Washington DC lobbying fees to kill it? The only plausible answer is that there is an agenda that is more important to the studios than its revenue.
“The Hollywood studios have cleverly but dishonestly painted filtering technology as a tool of copyright piracy. Nothing could be further from the truth. The technology, and the legislation that would authorize its use, simply allows a consumer in his or her own home to choose for himself or herself the specific types of explicit content to be skipped while he or she watches. Would a book or magazine publisher threaten lawsuits if the consumer chose not to read each and every printed word? Would a studio sue a moviegoer for momentarily plugging his or her ears, or for momentarily closing his or her eyes? Of course not. Hollywood made the same nonsensical claims about the DVD legislation over a dozen years ago. Their objections were wrong then, and they are wrong today.
“Earlier this year and in the wake of the tragic school shooting in Florida, the PTC’s Program Director literally sat next to President Trump in the White House to discuss violent entertainment media and its impact on children. The filtering technology contemplated under the FMA Clarification Act would allow concerned parents the ability to block the most graphic violence from otherwise-popular entertainment media. It reflects the height of personal and parental responsibility.
“We call on the Congress to immediately pass this bill, to present it to the President for his signature, and to deliver a Christmas present to parents and families that will have a long-lasting and positive impact for years to come.”
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The PTC is a member of the Protect Family Rights Coalition (http://protectfamilyrights.org/).