Fulfilling a promise made to Vice President Joe Biden that they would be part of the solution to curb gun violence, the television and film industries on Wednesday launched a multimedia campaign to inform parents of the tools they can use to manage what children see on TV and in the movies.
The campaign, which includes TV ads, websites and social media, will be rolled out in the coming months via a coordinated effort between the Motion Picture Association of America, the National Association of Broadcasters, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the National Association of Theatre Owners, the American Cable Association, as well as DirecTV and Verizon FiOS.
Since the shootings in Newtown, Conn., late last year, Washington has made curbing gun violence a top priority. Most of the hearings and rhetoric has focused on strengthening background checks on gun owners and banning assault weapons, but media violence has also been part of the debate. Both the Obama administration and Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) have proposed further studies of the impact of media and video game violence.
To start, TV and cable media will begin re-airing a series of ads created a few years ago by The Ad Council that tell parents how they can "be the boss" of what their kids watch on TV by using blocking technology. A new ad is in the works to address mental health.
Focusing on the film ratings system, the MPAA and NATO are developing a cinema spot that will be featured nationwide in pre-shows.
Though conspicuous by its absence, sources say the Entertainment Software Association representing the video game industry will be launching its own initiative soon.