Panel Split on Media Influence On Substance Abuse

Panel Split on Media Influence On Substance Abuse
Posted by FoM on March 03, 2000 at 18:46:16 PT
By The Associated Press
Source: Sacramento Bee
When Julia Roberts smokes in a film, it's for "character definition" to show she's "nervous and neurotic," Jack Valenti says. A film critic says "The Beach" is a two-hour commercial for marijuana.What impact do the movies have on the people who watch them?
"The short answer is that I don't know," Motion Picture Association of America chief Valenti said Thursday. "But I have the right to make any movie I choose, and I also have the right not to go see it."Entertainment industry representatives agreed Thursday that portrayals of substance abuse are common in the media, but they were split over its influence and whether anything should be done.Valenti joined film critic Michael Medved, Hilary Rosen of the Recording Industry Association of America, actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner and Dolores Tucker of the National Political Congress of Black Women on a substance abuse panel at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library."Directors say that (getting rid of cigarette or drug use) would disrupt the dramatic narrative they have going," Valenti said."I don't believe there's one young person who has watched a show, seen a film or listened to a song and they picked up a cigarette. The effect, I think, is with people who are already using and it's seen as 'this is cool,"' Warner said."Is that your final answer?" quipped Medved. "It's only been a few weeks that that has been part of the national consciousness and yet everybody knows about it."Of course people imitate what they see on the screen."Medved said the new Leonardo DiCaprio movie "The Beach" is "basically a two-hour advertisement for marijuana.""And you think pre-teen girls don't get the message?" he asked.Valenti said there is no easy answer, but he offered this suggestion: Homes, churches and schools should establish a preventive moral core.Tucker, however, accused Hollywood of undermining those efforts."It's a cancer in America what's happening to our young people. There's millions without that core being influenced. What do you do for the fatherless, motherless and homeless children?" Tucker said.Medved said the answer was simple: Stop glamorizing substance abuse in films.Simi Valley, Calif. (AP) Published: March 3, 2000Copyright  The Sacramento Bee Related Articles:White House Establishes Guidelines the 1st Amendment, Just Give Em Their Profits TV, Drugs & Civil Liberties - Ministers of Truth Salon Magazine Articles: White House Defends TV Drug-Ad Deal Washington Script Doctors Drug Money, How the White House Secretly Hooked TV 
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Comment #2 posted by Ebenezer Fleener on March 03, 2000 at 22:52:14 PT
Here we go again
Once again I have to hassle with commenting on something. This is a pile of crap,and another good example of a non-issue,that is conjured up,into being important. If someone is idiotic enough to be influenced by a film,and their lives are ruined,because of seeing the film,,,,then they are intellectually challenged to the point,,that if one film wasnt the cause of their demise,then some other film or TV show will be. These self appointed,media police,pundants,,are quite frankly,misguided turkeys,with nothing better to do,or can do nothing better...............Disgusting........The Fleenster
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on March 03, 2000 at 19:23:46 PT
Duuh-uh, Mon-key see, mon-key do, duh-uh!
Like some French waiters in ritzy restaurents, Hollywood evidently feels that in order to soak in the ambience of their directorial splendor we must also be insulted as rubes. It's part of the culture, I suppose. Is it any wonder why they agreed so readliy to pocket our tax dollars in the Barry-ola scheme? After all, we allow the government to insult our intelligence on a daily basis with its credulity-stretching War on (Some) Drugs. We *must* be stupid, right? So why shouldn't Hollywood cash in on our stupidity as well?
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