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Reel Change in The Atlantic

I’m back in The Atlantic with an analysis of the recent change in the MPAA ratings system. Here is an excerpt: “If anything, advertising that a movie has “grisly violence” or “strong sexual content” could make teenagers want to see it more. As a child, I remember scanning the content descriptions beneath cable movie listings…

Former Senator Chris Dodd, President of the MPAA

Hollywood Robbery

When considering the lobbying power of the MPAA, the trade group that represents six major Hollywood movie studios, I have often wondered what it is exactly they lobby for, besides the status quo of deregulation and the occasional copyright law. The fiscal cliff deal, passed two days ago, gave us an answer. A careful reading…

Lawmakers Seek Update From "Overwhelmed" Regulators

Former Senator Will Decide “Bully” Battle

Ratings controversies come and go, but most of the time the only thing at stake is studio profit. A good movie will find an audience, regardless of its rating. “Midnight Cowboy,” for example, was rated X but still managed to receive an Academy Award nomination. While there is a good discussion to be had about the…