Record #858

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Mr Will H. Hays, President, MPPDA
Col. Jason S. Joy
Reel 10
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The problem of controlling profanity under the Code, especially when occasional exceptions seem justified. The debate over modifying the Code's profanity clause. Includes memo, Milliken to Hays.


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HAYS sent Milliken. 16 January 1932 letter to Joy January 18 with a letter:... The subject matter of the use of words that may be construed as profane is giving us much concern. I remember our discussion of the matter on my last trip in connection with the dramatic conclusion in ARROWSMITH. I remember how then we both realized it might lead to complications such as indicated in the memorandum. The complications are more serious than I anticipated. I am wondering what ought to be done. Much credit is due and has been given to pictures because of the good taste involved in the elimination of oaths whether they have been technically profane or just emphasis, and the risk we are running for the sake of drama in any modification of the Code is not small. What do you think should be done? The modification of the Code in this connection proposed by the California Association has not been approved here. You have in mind the practice that first the Code or its modifications originate there and are approved here. There was such worry when this modification was suggested at our last Board Meeting that the matter was carried over. That is what the memorandum means when it says When the resolution is finally modified. I think until approval is finally voted here of the modification that the Code as unmodified should be enforced.

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