Parents who hoped that entertainment companies would reduce the violent imagery that they pump into the popular culture following the Newtown school shootings are out of luck. The MPAA and virtually every other major entertainment industry lobby group announced today that they will “make a positive contribution to the national conversation on violent behavior” by launching campaigns to promote “readily available and easy-to-use” techniques parents can use to control kids’ exposure to gruesome movies and TV shows. The initiative includes PSAs, boosted websites, in-theater ads and other platforms to push existing ratings systems, parental controls and informational resources — including many that were available long before Newtown.
Today’s release about the PR campaign points to a bank of PSAs that already have been showing on the air. Movie theaters also will show ads about the film rating system. Websites including FilmRatings.com, the MPAA’s ratings clearinghouse, and TheTVBoss.org have been given face-lifts. Other “public service initiatives” will promote mental health, including the creation of an AP style guide to help journalists, television and film producers, directors, and writers deal with on mental health terminology. In addition to the MPAA, the campaign is being supported by the National Association of Broadcasters, National Cable & Telecommunications Association, National Association of Theatre Owners, American Cable Association and the member companies of those groups, as well as DirecTV and Verizon FiOS.