[PODCAST] #329: Podcastmasters’ Liberty Master Class – A History of Hollywood Self-Censorship

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Osborne, Gardner Goldsmith and I continue our once-a-month listener participation live show where we discuss our recent shows, projects, challenges, investigations, etc...

Discussed:A chronology of film and television self-censorship with many tangents
1. WHY THIS TOPIC?
-censorship of the film, The Interview by Sony Pictures entertainment
-What's unique about this situation? What isn't?
-It is unlikely that North Korea is behind the hack:
-Whether it's a legit cyber attack, an inside job by Sony or a government false flag the response from Washington is predictable

2. HISTORY - ESCALATION OF CENSORSHIP
-Censorship increasing and decreasing were both gradual processes
-first film censorship laws
-movies were considered evil, similar to all new mediums at first
-The First Amendment and "Community Standards"
-1915 - Mutual Film Corporation v Ohio Industrial Commission, Supreme Court Case - Movies deemed "not free speech," so government censorship was "justified" - now they were just waiting for reasons to move in further
-US v Motion Picture film The Spirit of 76
-The Fatty Arbuckle Scandal
-Journalists like William Randolph Hearst were pushing this idea that the business needed to be cleaned up
-over 100 bills for censorship were submitted to congress in the early 1920s
-defensive act: 1922 Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America
start working with William H. Hayes. Hayes acts as a buffer between Hollywood and Washington, or a kind of lobbyist, PR
-1927: committee formed to develop a list of 11 don'ts and 25 be-carefuls
-then it escalates in 1927 with a new development - SOUND
-because now who could go to the movies? children
-and sound makes film even more real
-1930 - Motion Pictures Production Code, Hayes Code
-1934 - Production Code Administration
studios agreed, kept Washington at bay, avoided boycotts
aided mass production with a reliable formula
-But who gets to have input?
-Hitler in Hollywood?
-Reticence of Jewish studio moguls

3. HISTORY - HOW THE CODE FALLS APART:
-Reason #1: Supreme Court Decisions
1948 - United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc.
1952 - Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson
-Reason #2: Competition
Television, had an even stricter code
Rod Serling explains how censorship led to the creation of The Twilight Zone
Foreign Films/ Art house
Changing culture
sexual content that would have previously been banned by the Code was being retained
-Reason #3: REBELIOUS FILMMAKERS:
Otto Preminger
Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot
1964 Sidney Lumet's Pawnbroker
1966 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

4. CENSORSHIP/CONTROVERSY AFTER THE CODE
-1970-1972: It wasn't just the government and the church: The Godfather - Hollywood makes a deal with the mob
-1971: Stanley Kubrick pulled A Clockwork Orange
-UK: Kubrick asked Warner Brothers to withdraw the film from British distribution. In response to allegations that the film was responsible for copycat violence Kubrick stated: "To try and fasten any responsibility on art as the cause of life seems to me to put the case the wrong way around. Art consists of reshaping life, but it does not create life, nor cause life. Furthermore, to attribute powerful suggestive qualities to a film is at odds with the scientifically accepted view that, even afterdeep hypnosis in a posthypnotic state, people cannot be made to do things which are at odds with their natures."
-US: The National Catholic Office for Motion Pictures rated it C ("Condemned"), a rating which forbade Roman Catholics seeing the film.

Full Video:
Coming Soon

Look Closer:
Brett's Show Notes Folder - https://www.evernote.com/pub/brettveinotte/hollywoodcensorship

Liberty Conspiracy - http://libertyconspiracy.com/

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2 comments

  1. What is the best way to join the live show? The live feed page says Thursdays at 6:30 PM. Is the call-in still 843-JOIJN-SSP?

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