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Gore takes aim at entertainment industry for excessive violence

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore demanded the entertainment industry agree to an "immediate cease-fire" in the marketing of adult material to young children Monday after a federal report accused Hollywood of "pervasive and aggressive" promotion of violence.

A Federal Trade Commission Report released Monday concluded that the industry routinely and deliberately targets young children by advertising movies, music and video games that are intended for consumers age 17 or older by its own, self-imposed standards.

Gore
Gore speaks with unidentified supporters after leaving Air Force Two at Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport on Friday  

The federal agency said that the industry does so largely by placing advertising for these products in publications and television broadcasts that appeal to children.

Gore said the film, recording and video game companies should adopt FTC recommendations and set a six-month deadline for voluntary industry standards on marketing. He said that if the industry failed to adhere to the changes in a "timely manner," he and running mate Joe Lieberman would support tougher measures to hold it accountable.

"It's hard enough to raise children today without the entertainment industry making it more difficult. We believe in giving parents better information and more tools to help them protect their children from inappropriate material," Gore said in a statement released Monday.

"If the industry makes a promise not to market inappropriate material to children but then does so, it could be guilty of false advertising," the statement said.

President Clinton requested the study in May 1999, in the wake of the shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.

"The practice of pervasive and aggressive marketing of violent movies, music and electronic games to children undermines the credibility of the industries' ratings and labels," said the report, which arrived on the president's desk Monday.

Gore talked more about his position when he appeared on the "Oprah Winfrey Show" on Monday. He credited his wife, Tipper, for tuning him in to the problems of excessive sex and violence in the entertainment industry during the 1980s.

"She was successful in convincing the recording industry to give warnings to parents when material is inappropriate. Now Joe Lieberman and I are following up on that to try to persuade all the companies in that industry to abide by what they said they would do," Gore said.

Lieberman, a leading critic in Congress of the entertainment industry's use of sex and violence, traveled to Chicago on Sunday night to be at Gore's side Monday for the announcement and a number of interviews on the subject.

The issue is expected to receive additional attention when Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain holds later this week. Lieberman is expected to reiterate his criticism of the industry in an appearance before the committee.

CNN Producer Mike Roselli and Reuters contributed to this report.

 
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Monday, September 11, 2000


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