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Special Event

Motion Picture Association Head Jack Valenti Addresses Senate Commerce Committee Regarding Media Violence

Aired September 13, 2000 - 2:46 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: We want to switch you now live to Capitol Hill. As we've reported, the Senate is holding hearings regarding media and violence. They want to know why so many children in this country have access to violence and inappropriate sex.

Right now, Jack Valenti, head of the Motion Picture Association, is addressing the senators. We're going to listen in for a few moments.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

JACK VALENTI, PRESIDENT, MOTION PICTURE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA: ... with children under 13 say this rating system is very useful to fairly useful in helping them decide what movies their children ought to see. Two things to glean from that; one, nothing lasts 32 years in this volatile marketplace, unless it is providing some kind of a benefit to the people that it aims to serve, in this case parents. And number two, I don't think that only a few members of Congress who have an 81 percent voter approval. It is a pretty high endorsement.

Now something else I think I ought to bring up. I know that -- or maybe you don't know -- that is it not a fact that American movies are hospitably enjoyed and joyfully received by every nation, creed and culture on this Earth? Is it also not a fact that American movie industry is viewed by expanding envy of every developed and undeveloped country on this Earth?

And finally, it is also a fact that the intellectual property returns to this country billions and dollars in surplus balance of payments at a time when this nation is hemorrhaging from trade deficits. I think that needs to be brought to this committee's attention.

And finally, I really think that Congress ought to feel an immense pride in this unique creative asset and of the contributions that the movie people make to this nation's art and commerce and to the -- being attentive to the needs of parent.

Now, I am rather enchanted with what I am saying up here, but I am going to stop at this point. And I thank you very much.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), CHAIRMAN, COMMERCE COMMITTEE: Thank you, Mr. Valenti. Mr. McIntyre. JEFF MCINTYRE, LEGISLATIVE AND FEDERAL AFFAIRS OFFICER, APA: Thank you. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and members of the Senate Commerce Committee.

I am Jeff McIntyre, the legislative and federal affairs officers for the American Psychological Association. I am honored to be here to represent that group before you. I have years of work on children in the media. As a negotiator for the development of the television ratings system, as an adviser...

ALLEN: The hearings will continue and we will continue to bring you portions of them. Congressional critics of both parties claim that children's minds are being saturated with sex and violence and are warning the studios, record companies and video game makers to police themselves or to let Washington do it for them. And we'll continue to follow the story.

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