Record #891

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MPPDA - Reaffirmation
Additional text in Transcription. EDITORIAL COMMENT: This is a critical document.

Reaffirmation of Advertising Code and Production Code and Formula. Sent to advertising men and others.


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March 7, 1933. HAYS to E.H. ALLEN, COHEN, COHN COOPER FRASER LAEMMLE JR, LASKY, MAYER, ROGERS, SCHNITZER, SHEEHAN, JACK, WARNER, ROACH, EUGENE CHRYSTAL, JOHN OTTERSON, WINGATE, BREEN, BEETSON. It is inevitable that during a period such as we now face disintegrating influences should threaten the standards of production, standards of quality and standards of business practice built up and maintained by our cooperation. This shall not be allowed to occur. The motion picture are must and does accept the social responsibility that goes with the service of universal entertainment. Once destroy the educational processes of self-government and you invite bureaucracy, ineptitude and waste to fasten their barnacles of destruction up the industry. Without self-government and self-discipline, the competition that would ensue would be competition for the lower, not the higher, standards of entertainment, for the pictures that appeal to the baser, and not the better, instincts. It is unfortunate, but it is true, that degradation always commands a price. What would happen is clear enough. Millions of people drawn to motion picture theatres by the higher types of entertainment achieved by the screen would be permanently alienated from theatre attendance. The financial advisors, the industry leaders and the creative personnel of the industry would be tarred by a rising tide of pubic resentment. The structure left would be too flimsy a foundation upon which to rehabilitate a great art and a great business. With the knowledge that a relaxation in production standards on the part of the industry would result in a definite and permanent loss of public good will, without which the screen cannot hope to survive, it is proposed to make certain, without any equivocation whatsoever, that there shall be no relaxation in such production standards. To that end, a reaffirmation of adherence to the Production and Advertising Codes and all Resolutions and Formulae relating thereto and relating to titles and source material has been signed by the presidents of the companies. It is my responsibility to aid in making certain that the emergencies are appreciated by you and to enlist your support in the faithful execution of these purposes. In the discharge of that duty I know I can count on your support. ...

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