Record #1127

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Reel 11
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Concern about the practice of some exhibitors eliminating the PCA Seal. Many fail to distinguish between censorship and self-regulation.


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6 May 1935 R.B. Wilby of Atlanta to Netter of Paramount announcing that his chain has not been showing the seal "and greatly prefer not to. "It seems to me that our people are primarily interested in having pictures clean. If they be that, they are not interested in whether or not Mr. Breen or anyone else brought it about. It further seems to me that if we continue to flash the production seal, which is in effect an evidence of the picture's having been censored, in front of our audience, then it necessarily must bring up the question why, if pictures are to be censored by someone, it should not be by our own state representatives. I certainly prefer not to undertake to answer such a question for frankly I think that such a position would be most logical."10 May 1935 Hays, in reply, to Schaefer of Paramount, claims that the goal is to abbreviate the certificate once improved quality has been seen to be maintained, but "in many of the most important groups the certification is necessary and that they propose ultimately to regard that certification as all the guarantee needed as to its quality and that certification will definitely influence the position taken by such organized groups relative to the particular picture. The elimination for that reason is not advisable. "It is very important, even with the abbreviation, that such step is taken in a way that does not at all indicate lessening of the public acknowledgement of the responsibility of the organized industry for every picture which has such certificate. "I am not impressed with Mr. Wilby's suggestion that the showing of the certificate 'is in effect an evidence of the picture's having been censored.' He fails entirely to distinguish a censorship 'by our own state representatives' and the care on the part of the producers evidenced by their own self-regulation."28 May 1935 Quigley writes to Hays arguing that the problem is the full-screen size of the certificate, which should be reduced.

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