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3. All advertising shall be submitted to the advertising code administration of the association for approval before use, and shall not be used in any way until so submitted and approved as hereinafter set forth. All advertising shall be submitted in duplicate with the exception of press books, which shall be submitted in triplicate.
4. The advertising code administration shall proceed as promptly as it finds feasible to approve or disapprove the advertising submitted on the basis of whether it complies with the advertising code.
The advertising code administration shall stamp its approval on one copy of all advertising approved and return such stamped copy to the company submitting the same. If the advertising code administration disapproves of any advertising, there shall be stamped the word "disapproved” on one copy thereof, which shall be returned to the company submitting the same; or, if the advertising code administration so desires, it may return the same with suggestions for such changes or corrections in the advertising as will cause it to be approved.
5. After advertising (as defined in sec. 2 above) for a motion picture shall have been approved by the advertising code administration, if circumstances arise, either before or after the picture's release, which in the judgment of the administrator seems to require the withdrawal of all, or any portion of such previously approved advertising, then, after consultation with the advertising advisory council, he shall immediately file a written report with the president and secretary of the association (a) setting forth the situation existing at the time such prior approval was granted for such advertising. (b) reciting the intervening circumstances with resultant changes in the situation, (c) listing the reasons why in the opinion of the administrator all or a designated portion of the advertising previously approved should be withdrawn and (d) certifying that if such advertising were then being presented to him for the first time, it would not be approved by him under the advertising code for stated reasons.
If the president of the association (or a vice president of the association in the absence of the president), upon receipt of such report from the advertising code administration, is of the opinion that the situation presented is sufficiently serious to justify consideration by the board of directors, the secretary of the association shall be instructed to call immediately an emergency meeting of the board, at which meeting the board shall sit as a board of appeal with adequate opportunity for the producer and/or distributor of the motion picture to appear in person or through a duly anthorized representative and present reasons orally or in writing, or both, as to why the prior approval of the advertising should be affirmed, and with adequate opportunity for the administrator of the advertising code to appear and present reasons, either orally or in writing, or both, as to why in his judgment all or a designated portion of such previously approved advertising should be withdrawn.
Thereafter, the board, meeting in executive session with the producer and/or distributor of the picture not voting, shall determine by vote of a majority of the directors present and voting. whether all or any portion of the previously approved advertising shall be withheld from use and/or withdrawn, and such action of the board of directors shall be final and binding upon the producer and/or distributor of said film.
When any previously approved advertising for a motion picture is withdrawn pursuant to action of the board hereunder, the company withdrawing same shall be reimbursed the unrecoverable portion of its out-of-pocket expenditures for such advertising to the extent deemed equitable and proper under all the circumstances by the board. The amount of such reimbursement shall be prorated among all members of the association including the company affected on the same basis as dues to the association are currently paid.
If neither the producer nor the distributor of said film is a member of the association, then the nonmember withdrawing such advertising shall be reimbursed the unrecoverable portion of its out-of-pocket expenditures for such advertising by the members of the association to the extent deemed equitable and proper under all the circumstances by the board.
6. Appeals.--Any company whose advertising has been disapproved may appeal from the decision of the advertising code administration, as follows:
Within 10 days after its advertising has been disapproved, it shall serve notice of such appeal in writing on the director of the advertising code administration and on the secretary of the association. Said notice of appeal shall set forth the grounds upon which the appeal is taken. Within a reasonable time after the receipt of such notice by the director of the advertising code administration and 7. Any company to which these regulations are applicable, which publishes, or makes available for sale or lease, or which in any way uses advertising without prior approval as hereinabove provided, may be brought up on charges before the board of directors by the director of the advertising code administration, or by any of the following officers of the association, viz: the president, a vice president, the secretary or the treasurer. The company shall be entitled to receive a written statement of the charges and to a hearing before the board of directors. Within a reasonable time after the receipt of said statement of charges by the company, the board of directors of the association shall meet in a special meeting to hear and pass upon such charges. Oral and written evidence may be introduced by the company and by the advertising code administration. Oral argument shall be had and written memoranda or briefs may be submitted by the company and by the advertising code administration. The board of directors may admit such evidence as it deems relevant, material, and competent, and may determine the nature and length of the oral argument and of the written memoranda or briefs to be submitted. The board of directors, by a majority vote of those present, shall decide the matter as expeditiously as possible.
the secretary of the association, the president or, in the event of his absence from the country or his inability to act, a board consisting of three members of the executive committee of the board of directors of the association appointed by him, shall hold a hearing to pass upon the appeal. Oral and written evidence may be introduced by the company and the advertising code administration. Oral argument shall be had at the hearing and written memoranda or briefs may be submitted by the company and the advertising code administration. The president or said board, as the case may be, may admit such evidence as is deemed relevant, material and competent, and may determine the nature and length of the oral argument and of the written memoranda or briefs to be submitted. The president or said board, as the case may be, shall decide the appeal as expeditiously as possible and shall notify the company the director of the advertising code administration in writing of the decision. Such decision shall be final.
A company appealing from a decision of the advertising code administration under section 14 of the advertising code shall have the right, by written notice to the secretary of the association, to appeal directly to the board of directors of the association, whose decision shall be final. The provisions relating to evidence, argument, and written memoranda or briefs, set forth in these regulations, shall apply to such appeals.
If the board of directors finds that the company has published, or made available for sale or lease or in any way used advertising without prior approval as hereinabove set forth, the board may take one or more of the following actions :
(a) Direct the production code administration to void and revoke the certificate of approval granted by the association for the picture so advertised and require the removal of the association's seal from all prints of said picture, and the production code administration shall thereupon do so ;
(b) Require the company, if a member of the association, to pay to the association as and for liquidated damages, not more than $100 for each publication, lease, sale, or use of an unapproved item of advertising which has been published, made available for lease or sale or used, provided, however, that the total sum assessed for advertising relative to one motion picture may not exceed the sum of $25,000. The amount so assessed and collected shall be used by the association for expenses incurred in the administration of the advertising code. It is recognized that any violation of the advertising code will disrupt the stability of the industry and cause serious damage to the association and its members which cannot be definitively computed.
The decision of the board of directors shall be final.
8. Each company shall assume responsibility for seeing that all its employees and agents comply with these regulations.
A CODE TO GOVERN THE MAKING OF MOTION AND TALKING PICTURES
THE REASONS SUPPORTING IT AND THE RESOLUTION FOR UNIFORM INTERPRETATION
(By the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc., 1930–49)
(New York City, January 1, 1949)
Foreword Motion pictures made in the United States are, with few exceptions, produced in accordance with the provisions of a production code. A majority of the foreign pictures, exhibited in theaters here, likewise conform to these self-imposed industry rules and regulations.
In Hollywood, there is a department of the association, with an office also in New York, known as the Production Code Administration which was organized by the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc., and which is authorized and maintained by the producing companies using it.
The group which forms this administration has been empowered by the association and these same producing companies to make certain that the articles of the production code are uniformly and impartially interpreted and applied.
All the major producing and distributing companies in the United States, and the great majority of the others, work with, and through, the Production Code Administration. Very few of the producers of English dialog motion pictures now being publicly exhibited in theaters in the United States fail to make use of the facilities of the code administration.
This service is rendered and this work conducted on a purely voluntary basis. No one is compelled to produce motion pictures in accordance with the code regulations. No attempt is made to force producers to accept the service of the Production Code Administration. As a result, however, of almost 18 years of day-by-day operations, during which time more than 7,000 feature-length motion pictures and twice as many short-subject films, have been serviced by the code administration, there is evident on all sides, a ready disposition to conform to the regulations of the code and to be guided in large measure by the judgment and experience of its administrators.
This effort to establish high principles of public responsibility for an art industry has been singularly difficult and significant because of the newness, nature, and variety of this remarkable medium of expression which draws its raw material from all of drama, all of music, all of literature, and all of life; and because of the worldwide character of a consumer audience estimated at upward of 85 million admissions a week in the United States and, in normal times, an additional 150 million weekly in the rest of the world.
Industrial democracy can no longer be taken for granted. It must be strengthened. The problem of our national economy very properly has been stated to be the problem of maintaining, to the highest degree, initiative, enterprise, and freedom in industry and in business. But these are rights that must be matched by equivalent responsibilities—moral, social, and economic.
There is no real substitute for successful self-government in industry. There can be no permanent progress for a creative industry controlled in the interest of economic regimentation or political dictatorship. Yet, every error of judgment in the movies brings immediate criticism and inevitably jeopardizes the essential freedom of expression on which our democracy has been built. The motion-picture industry in the United States is an important and significant case study of the economic, artistic, and social achievement of self-government in business.
The development of higher moral and artistic standards in motion-picture production has vastly improved the supply of popular entertainment and raised the artistic stature of the screen. To this result the vigorous and painstaking application of the Motion Picture Production Code to every process of film production, from the story to the finished picture, has contributed immeasurably.
Our experience indicates clearly that self-regulation is wholly consonant with freedom of expression for the motion-picture art. None of the objectives toward which the industry must strive, in carrying out its public responsibilities, is outside the framework of self-discipline.
1 Until December 14, 1945, the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, Inc. . During the rapid transition from silent to talking pictures they realized the necessity and the opportunity of subscribing to a code to govern the production of talking pictures and of reacknowledging this responsibility.
An alive and responsible public opinion is the guiding force in this, as in all systems of self-government. The motion-picture public is not millions more or less conditioned to the suggestive and sensational. It is a universal public attracted to the motion-picture theater by a vast variety of clean and artistic entertainment.
Preamble The Motion Picture Production Code was formulated and formally adopted by the Association of Motion Picture Producers, Inc. (California), and the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (New York), in March 1930.
Motion-picture producers recognize the high trust and confidence which have been placed in them by the people of the world and which have made motion pictures a universal form of entertainment.
They recognize their responsibility to the public because of this trust and because entertainment and art are important influences in the life of a nation.
Hence, though regarding motion pictures primarily as entertainment without any explicit purpose of teaching or propaganda, they know that the motion picture within its own field of entertainment may be directly responsible for spiritual or moral progress, for higher types of social life, and for much correct thinking.
On their part, they ask from the public and from public leaders a sympathetic understanding of their purposes and problems and a spirit of cooperation that will allow them the freedom and opportunity necessary to bring the motion picture to a still higher level of wholesome entertainment for all the people.
THE PRODUCTION CODE General principles
1. No picture shall be produced which will lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience shall never be thrown to the side of crime, wrongdoing, evil, or sin.
2. Correct standards of life, subject only to the requirements of drama and entertainment, shall be presented.
3. Law, natural or human, shall not be ridiculed, nor shall sympathy be created for its violation. Particular applications
1. Crimes against the law. —These shall never be presented in such a way as to throw sympathy with the crime as against law and justice or to inspire others with a desire for imitation. 1. Murder :
(a) The technique of murder must be presented in a way that will not inspire imitation.
(b) Brutal killings are not to be presented in detail.
(a) Theft, robbery, safecracking, and dynamiting of trains, mines, buildings, etc., should not be detailed in method.
(b) Arson must be subject to the same safeguards.
II. Ser.-The sanctity of the institution of marriage and the home shall be upheld. Pictures shall not infer that low forms of sex relationship are the accepted or common thing.
1. Adultery and illicit sex, sometimes necessary plot material, must not be explicitly treated or justified, or presented attractively. 2. Scenes of passion:
(a) They should not be introduced except where they are definitely essential to the plot.
(b) Excessive and lustful kissing, lustful embraces, suggestive postures, and gestures are not to be shown.
: Until December 14, 1945, the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, Inc. * The code, as presented in this edition, contains all revisions and amendments through 1934.
* See also Special Regulations on Crime in Motion Pictures.
(c) In general, passion should be treated in such manner as not to stimulate the lower and baser emotions.
3. Seduction or rape :
(a) These should never be more than suggested, and then only when essential for the plot. They must never be shown by explicit method.
(6) They are never the proper subject for comedy. 4. Sex perversion or any inference of it is forbidden. 5. White slavery shall not be treated.
6. Abortion, sex hygiene, and venereal diseases are not proper subjects for theatrical motion pictures.
7. Scenes of actual child birth, in fact or in silhouette, are never to be presented. 8. Children's sex organs are never to be exposed.
III. Vulgarity.—The treatment of low, disgusting, unpleasant, though not necessarily evil, subjects should be guided always by the dictates of good taste and a proper regard for the sensibilities of the alidience.
IV. Obscenity.-Obscenity in word, gesture, reference, song, joke, or by sug. gestion (even when likely to be understood only by part of the audience) is forbidden.
V. Profanity.—Pointed profanity and every other profane or vulgar expression, however used, are forbidden.
No approva the Production Code Administration shall be given to the use of words and phrases in motion pictures including, but not limited to, the following: Bronx cheer (the sound); chippie; God, Lord, Jesus, Christ (unless used reverently) ; cripes ; fairy (in a vulgar sense) ; finger (the): fire, cries of; Gawd; goose (in a vulgar sense) ; hot (applied to a woman); “in your hat" ; madam (relating to prostitution) ; nance; nuts (except when meaning crazy); pansy; razzberry (the sound); S. O. B.; son-of-a ; tart; toilet gags; whore.
In the administration of section V of the production code, the Production Code Administration may take cognizance of the fact that the following words and phrases are obviously offensive to the patrons of motion pictures in the United States and more particularly to the patrons of motion pictures in foreign countries: chink, dago, frog, greaser, hunkie, kike, nigger, spig, wop, yid.
It should also be noted that the words "hell” and “damn," if used without moderation, will be considered offensive by many members of the audience. Their use, therefore, should be governed by the discretion and the prudent advice of the Code Administration.
VI. Costumes.—1. Complete nudity is never permitted. This includes nudity in fact or in silhouette, or any licentious notice thereof by other characters in the pictures.
2. Undressing scenes should be avoided, and never used save where essential to the plot.
3. Indecent or undue exposure is forbidden.
4. Dancing costumes inteniled to permit undue exposure or indecent movements in the dance are forbidden.
VII. Dances.-1. Dances suggesting or representing sexual actions or indecent passion are forbidden.
2. Dances which emphasize indecent movements are to be regarded as obscene.
VIII. Religion.-1. No film or episode may throw ridicule on any religious faith.
2. Ministers of religion in their character as ministers of religion should not be used as comic characters or as villians.
3. Ceremonies of any definite religion should be carefully and respectfully handled.
IX. Locations.-The treatment of bedrooms must be governed by good taste and delicacy. X. National feelings.-1. The use of the flag shall be consistently respectful.
2. The history, institutions, prominent people, and citizenry of all nations shall be represented fairly.
XI. Titles.-The following titles shall not be used :
2. Titles which suggest or are currently associated in the public mind with material, characters, or occupations unsuitable for the screen.
3. Titles which are otherwise objectionable.
XII. Special subjects.-The following subjects must be treated within the careful limits of good taste:
5 See also special resolution on costumes.