Valenti letter slams ratings system


MPAA President Jack Valenti defended the use of separate ratings systems for each media in a lengthy letter sent late last month to the National Institute on Media and the Family.

Valenti's letter was in response to complaints from the Institute that the various ratings are inaccurate and confusing to parents, and that there instead needs to be a universal ratings system. "The settled fact is that over these almost thirty-three years the vast majority of parents have come to know the movie rating sytsem. They use it. They find it beneficial," Valenti wrote to the Institute's Dr. David Walsh.

Valenti also pointed out that since October 2000 - when the studios came under pressure from the Federal Trade Commission for marketing violent movies to kids - the movie studios have included reasons for ratings before films, on movie studio web sites and before videos and DVDs. Also, the web site,, lists movie ratings and explains what they mean.

Valenti also goes through the argument that the amount of content produced in this country each year is far too voluminous to rate in a unilateral way. "How would an oversight committee monitor this avalanche of material unless it had a thousand eyes and expanded the day to a hundred hours?" - Paige Albiniak