MPAA And Cable Industry Back Bill To Study Media And Violence

Movie and cable lobbyists say that they ““welcome further examination of the reasons behind societal violence” — the rationale behind the bill to be marked up at the Senate Commerce Committee today that would require the National Academy of Sciences to study the impact that violent videos and games have on kids. The bill from committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W. VA) is a response to last year’s Sandy Hook school shootings. But the MPAA and National Cable & Telecommunications Association pointedly note that while they will be “productive partners in the conversation about culture in America,” they already try to help parents to make “appropriate family viewing and entertainment decisions.” The trade groups cite their work with TV and film ratings and public service announcements. Today’s statement seems more defensive than the National Association of Broadcasters was when it said that it “supports” the bill, in part because it might make sense of the current “conflicting scientific data” about the connection between media and violence. The NAB says it hopes that “greater civility can be restored to society and that incidences of societal violence can be reduced.” Rockefeller says that he’ll also ask the FCC and FTC to take a fresh look at media violence. “Major corporations, including the video game industry, make billions on marketing and selling violent content to children,” Rockefeller says. “They have a responsibility to protect our children.  If they do not, you can count on the Congress to take a more aggressive role.”

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