Protect Family Rights is giving the power back to the parents by filtering your movie content. In this episode, we discuss with Bill Aho, the CEO of Protect Family Rights, the importance of updating the Family Movie Act. Protect Family Rights wants to enable the family to again be able to have clean entertainment in your home by filtering the content for you. Yet, Hollywood is trying to take away that right away. Tune in now to learn what you can do to update this bill and bring clean content into your home once again!
Air Date: 04/11/2017
Guests: Bill Aho, David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
- WallBuilders | American historical events, founding fathers, historical documents, books, videos, CDs, tapes, David Barton’s speaking schedule.
- Protect Family Rights website
Download: Click Here
Transcription note: As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
You find your way to the intersection of faith and the culture, this is WallBuilders Live! We appreciate you joining us today. Find out more about us at our websites WallBuilders.com and WallBuildersLive.com
Where we’re talking about these hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, always looking at it from Biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.
We’re here with David Barton, America’s premiere historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker, pastor, and president of WallBuilders. And my name’s Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state rep.
Again, we’re a national pro-family organization. Our emphasis is on our religious, moral, and constitutional heritage here in America and we appreciate you joining us so we can bring some of that live for you and talk about some of the issues in the culture today.
Filtering Content Out Of Movies
David, Tim, we’ve kind of talked about entertainment more maybe this year than we have seen in previous years. It’s one of those mountains or one of those areas of the culture where Christians need to have a voice and need to be a part of. That’s kind of been happening more and more.
We’ve had Ted Baer on recently, talked about more faith values moving into Hollywood, but there’s still a lot of content coming out of Hollywood that just isn’t appropriate for our families because of a word here or there or a scene that we want to be able to delete. And some folks say, “Hey, we ought to have the option of taking that out once we have it in our home.”
Well, Rick, we really ought to be able to choose what we do watch and what we don’t want to watch. That should be something that every individual has.
I thought that’s what the progressives were, that you should be able to do want in your own home?
Aren’t they about choice?
I mean, that’s the argument they have for abortion, for homosexuality, and everything else is that you should have the right to do what you want in your own home.
“It’s my body, it’s my life.” In fact, I even hear libertarians that are in that same camp and in government shouldn’t regulate do. And it’s interesting how so often arguments that we make for one side of the equation don’t work for the other.
Even with that being said, we’re at a place in culture where we cannot determine what’s right and wrong we can’t define truth anymore. We have such mixed values and morals and so the things that we now define as inappropriate, the things that we define as appropriate, are completely skewed for what we would have believed in previous generations based on a Biblical ethic.
Because we’re lacking a Biblical ethic, certainly, there’s a lot of things we’re seeing out of Hollywood. But really, TV in general, you can hardly turn on TV. You can hardly get a Redbox or Netflix, or anything without there being content where you go, “I wish I didn’t have to see this” Or, “I won’t see this, therefore, I’m not going to just skip ahead with this.”
It would be a lot easier if the individual could just determine, “I really don’t want this kind of content. Whether it’s language, whether it’s a level of sexuality, whatever it is, it should be up to the individual to determine and make a choice and say, “I don’t want this.”
Now on the flip side, it would be nice if we weren’t in a position that we had to choose to filter out morally objectionable content if we had more people recognizing that we want to make family-friendly movies, which they do very well.
Families want to go and watch and enjoy and appreciate those. But as long as Hollywood’s coming from this position where they’re putting out negative content. For sure, we ought to be able as individuals to say, “I don’t want to partake in that negative content.” And skip it, mute it, or whatever the case might be to allow me to avoid that negative content.
And I think about even things like Marvel comic movies that a lot of us grew up reading and or watching the cartoons and now they’ve got these high budget films. But then there’s just this you know one or two words that you don’t want your kids to hear or a little scene there.
Being able to have the ability and the freedom to delete that particular scene, or not see that, or hear those particular words in your own home and having the right to do it- it’s almost like for Hollywood to say that they don’t want to allow us to do that. It’s like they’re saying to us, “Not only do we want you to watch this movie, we want our agenda. Also on the things that are acceptable and that we want your family to think is acceptable. We want to make sure we’re influencing you with that as well. Not just let you have the entertainment over there.” I mean, that’s the only reason I can think of to say, “No.” If we’re still paying for the movie.
The Push Back From Hollywood
The background that we’re talking about is the fact that there are several services out there that offer all the Hollywood great movies, everything there, but they allow you to choose what goes in your own home.
You buy the movie, you pay for the movie, whether you stream it or buy it off of a DVD type situation, download it. And then you say, “Alright, now that it’s in my home here’s the words I don’t want to hear. Or here’s the scenes I don’t want to hear.”
And Hollywood is saying, “No, you don’t have that right to choose. When it goes into your home it is still ours and we will tell you what you can and can’t choose.” So every attempt to be able to take what Hollywood produces and limit it in our own home so far has been pushed back.
What’s interesting is, if you look at network television, whenever they air one of these Hollywood movies on network television they have to filter out the language.
They always say, “It’s edited for content.”
“Right. That’s already something that happens. And yet, when it comes to the individual, Hollywood says, “Woah, if it’s Fox, if it’s ABC, if it’s Warner Brothers, or whatever channel they can filter. But the individual, we don’t allow individuals to determine the content that they decide is objectionable. We’re not going to let them determine what content they will or won’t partake in. If we make the movie, they’re going to embrace it all.”
That’s exactly right, Tim. I hadn’t even thought about the network example. And David, as you’re talking about, even the DVD guys, it’s been quite a few years when there was- actually a company here in Texas called HollyGood. I wanted Band of Brothers, I wanted my boys to be able to you know learn about these World War II guys and the incredible sacrifice they made and the brotherhood that kind of happened and all that. But it’s got language and it’s a little bit of… it was too violent for them when they were younger, a lot of it was too violent for when they were younger. But anyway, I wanted to have a cleaned up version of that.
And HollyGood did that, and they put the whole set on DVD. And I thought, “Man, that’s that’s great.” And then Hollywood comes along and says, “No, we don’t want to do that.” and ran out of business. But Congress responded to that several years back and said, “No, we want the individuals to be able to do that.” I forget the act, it’s like the family protection entertainment act or something like that.
So for a little while, Clearplay came along as a result of that law being passed. And we had those options for a little while. But of course, DVDs are out, streaming is in, and Hollywood is looking for ways to stop this once again.
We’ve got to take a quick break. We’ll come right back and pick up where we left off. Stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live!
Hey, guys, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders. I know you hear my dad and Rick talk a lot about our Founding Fathers about the original intent of our nation, a constitutional heritage that we have. And really we’ve seen how far we slipped away from that. And I know a lot of us as we hear my dad and Rick talk think, “I wish there was a place that I could go where I could see these documents and I could read and learn about the Founding Fathers firsthand. See the things they did.”
I want to give you some websites today that can help you accomplish that very thing. If you get online you can go to places like Library of Congress and you can look under their century of lawmaking or historical documents. You can go to the Avalon Project, to the Founders Constitution, Google Books, or even the internet archives.
Or you can just go to WallBuilders.com. We have a section for our library. And under that section, we have different subgroups for historical documents, historical writings, even a place where you can get helpful links to find out more information about other websites. Where you can do research for yourself and find the truth for yourself. Friends, this is the time that we need to know who we are and where we came from. WallBuilders.com is a great place to go.
Hollywood Is Making Us Miss Out On Movies
We’re back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. We’re talking about the battle between Hollywood and some of these companies and frankly, all families that want to be able to enjoy some of that entertainment but take out the bad stuff and just make sure that their kids don’t get exposed to that, or obviously, as adults don’t get exposed to it.
David, Tim, we talked about who you watch it on TV and networks edits that content different than what is shown in the movie theater and that’s been fine. Why can’t a family do that?
Let me point out that often times we see movies on networks and we go, “Man, this is a great movie.” And then you get the DVD or back and then, it used to be VHS tapes, now you download them or whatever it is.
But you would then get the actual movie and watch it and you would go, “I can’t believe this.” I remember when I was with a friend in college and we were watching a very popular comedy at that time, well-known comedy. And I’m not saying the name because I might point out objectionable content and I don’t want someone to go, “ I’m going to watch.” So I’m not going to fuel that fire.
But, it was a comedy, and we watched it on TV and it was great. And and so this guy invited me over to his house, his parents’ house, they live relatively local and a bunch of people came over and we were eating pizza and just hanging out at this guy’s house.
So the guy’s parents decided they wanted to watch it with us, which was fine because we’ve seen it on TV and it was great… except in the actual movie there was a nude scene in it. Which was not on TV.
And the guy’s parents were there. It was a most awkward scenario. Oh, it was so awkward. It was so weird. He was super embarrassed, apologetic because he had told his parents, “This is such a great movie, it’s hilarious, you’re going to love it!”
But it’s one of those things that when you saw it filtered it genuinely was something you enjoyed, it was something that you could partake in. But when you saw it without the filter- and that was a network filter, so not even the individual choice of the family. Because even on the network there might be a few words here and there that we would have filtered out if we had the choice.
Nonetheless, once you have the actual movie DVD, MP, whatever you’re getting, at that point, you don’t have that option according to Hollywood. They think, “No, you need to partake in it all.” And the reality is, you just missed out on some great movies if you can’t eliminate some of that content.
What Could Have Been A Good Movie
I had one of those. I like action, adventure, thriller, kind of move. One was called Bat 21. It’s a Gene Hackman movie. It was a true story of a really innovative thing that happened in Vietnam. It was so cool, he laid out an escape plan based on a golf course that he and somebody else had played.
So as he was trying to get away from the VC he would say, “I’m on the 8th hole.” And they knew whether it was dog lay right or left. And so he did that this whole code on a golf course and escaped from them. It’s a true story.
Thought, “So cool.” I bought the DVD. I made it about 15 minutes and about every third word was a profanity. It was not that on TV, and I’ve hung out with tough guys, in construction that’s kind of like the city version of the roughnecks in the oil field.
Your concrete guys, your roofers, and everybody else. They got really mouths on them, but it was nothing to what was in that movie. And the way it had been on TV was exactly like you’re saying with that comedy. It was so much fun to watch on TV and that’s why I went and bought it.
If I could have gotten an MP4 I would have downloaded and paid for it if I could have had it the way it was on TV. I would have done that, I’d pay for it. But as it was, I’m not I’m not getting the movie. I just don’t want that much profanity in my house.
I’m thinking of y’all’s two examples and even worse is as you watch it like you’ll see it on TV it’s been filtered or whatever and then you tell a friend about it and you’re like, “Oh yeah, it was great movie. You’ve gotta see it.” So then they go get the DVD and you’re not there, like Tim, you were with your friend so that you could stop it and go, “Oh, we didn’t know that was in there.” So then they think you’re recommending-
“You have terrible values and morals. You love this negative content.” The reality is, filtering is a very positive thing for individuals, for families, because it does allow you to eliminate the objectionable content. And it does allow individuals and families to have consciences and follow their conscience.
Which is why it’s so bizarre that Hollywood is saying, “No, we don’t want to respect the right of your conscience, we don’t want to allow you to remove objectionable content, we want you to watch the entirety of whatever we deem appropriate.” And either you’re going to take it all or you get nothing.
Even though it may be only less than 1 percent of the content. Because put the movie on TV and they cut out one percent and you don’t even know it’s gone because you think you got a full-length movie.
But Hollywood says, “No, we want you to take that one percent too.” And it’s just nuts because any other thing you could choose what you want to deal with it. As Tim pointed out, the networks do choose that. Really, that’s kind of where we are today even in looking at this.
Bill Aho is one of those groups out there that have been able to do this. But now the networks are shutting them out even under the federal law. And so it’s really time to get the federal law updated to allow for the streaming and then pay for the downloadable things that are out there.
Now that’s exactly right David. That’s really what it is, just updating the law that Congress already passed for the same purpose but including streaming and once again, putting the parents and the family in charge of what comes into their home. It’s called “Protect Family Rights.” It’s an organization and Bill is the executive director, he’s going to be with us when we return. Stay with us right here on WallBuilders Live!
Have you noticed the vacuum of leadership in America? It’s not just that we have a few bad leaders taking us away from our founding principles and leading us down a road of destruction. The real challenge is that we’re looking around for leaders of principle to step up and too often no one is there.
This is a generational Challenge. And we must have a generational solution. God is raising up a generation of young leaders with a passion for impacting the world around them. They’re crying out for the mentorship and leadership training they need. And we need to equip them for the purpose God has laid on their hearts.
Patriot Academy was created to meet that need. You, the listeners of Wallbuilders Live, have supported Patriot Academy over the years. You have sent your children and grandchildren to the program and the results have been remarkable.
Patriot Academy graduates now serve in state capitals around America, in the halls of Congress, in business, in the film industry, in the pulpit, in every area of the culture. They’re leading effectively and impacting the world around them.
Patriot Academy is now expanding across the nation and now is your chance to experience this life-changing week that trains champions to change the world. Visit PatriotAcademy.com for dates and locations. Our core program is still for young leaders 16 to 25 years old, but we also now have a citizen track for adults. So visit the website today to learn more. Help us fill the void of leadership in America. Join us in training champions to change the world at PatriotAcademy.com.
The Family Movie Act
Welcome back! Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Bill Aho is with us. Once again, Hollywood against the families. We’ve been trying to make it possible for families to filter movies and not bring the bad stuff in and they just continue to fight us. Bill, appreciate what you’re doing man. Thanks for coming on, Sir.
Oh, thank you, Rick.
Hey, Protect Family Rights is the new organization that’s working to get this accomplished. We won this battle, what a decade ago? And now we get to come back and do it again.
It’s surprising, isn’t it? The Family Movie Act was passed in 2005. At that time Congress took a look at the industry which was under assault from Hollywood and said, “We think that being able to filter movies is a good thing for families.” And so they passed the law.
Now, 12 years later, things have changed. People no longer watch on DVD’s, they watch on streaming. And Hollywood has taken advantage of that change in technology to say, “We don’t think the Family Movie Act ought to apply to streaming.”
Back then you were with ClearPlay, one of the leading streaming companies in the country.I know my family benefited greatly from ClearPlay. Lately, there’s been others, we had HollyGood back then was another one, there’s big angel out there now. I mean, there’s all these attempts to try to meet this need in the market where parents like myself are saying, “There are some movies were we like ninety-five percent of the movie, but there’s that one scene we don’t want our kids to see, or I don’t want to see, or we want to not have in our in our home.”
We’re not telling the Hollywood companies they can’t have that stuff. We’re just saying when we have it in our home we ought to have the right to filter that just like if I give my kids a book and I take out something from that book that I don’t want them to see. It just makes sense that the parents should have the right to do this once it comes into our home.
It was a really good analogy. I think the question is exactly as you posed. Do we really want Hollywood telling us what we can do in our own homes? I think the answer is, of course, not.
I was thinking, Bill, of a specific scenario. There was a spy novel that when my oldest son was like, 13-14 I don’t remember, I wanted him to read it. It was a great book, it has some really good stuff on Islamic terrorism, that sort of thing. But it had a lot of language in it.
So I literally took the time to go through with a sharpie and I marked out the words I didn’t want him reading. I didn’t tell the author he couldn’t write like that. I didn’t complain to the publisher. I just did that for my child in my home. That’s the way I view these movies.
The equivalent for a movie would be like a remote control. Filtering is sort of an automated remote control that allows you to skip the news on a frame accurate basis, a surprisingly effective basis, over sex, violence, profanity, whatever you choose to omit.
The Studio Most Opposed To Filtering Is Disney
Are not the studios still selling the movie? Right? That’s what I don’t understand. Why are the studios against this? It really broadens their market, it allows them to sell a movie to my family that we would not go see in the movie theater and that we would not watch without the filter. So I don’t get it, why are they not for this?
It is hard to understand. As best as I can tell they just don’t like you taking content out of the movie, even in the privacy of your home. And I think their position is, “Hey, you watch the movie with every sex scene, every cuss word, every bit of increasingly lifelike violence, or don’t watch it all.”
It’s demoralizing that the studios have been so against filtering. No studio, surprisingly, has been more actively opposed than Disney.
The funny thing is, is that they say they’re not opposed. But the fact is that numerous companies have gone to the studios and said, “How can we work with you to offer filtered movies to families?” And these requests have been consistently ignored. Hollywood has never ever given approval for a family filter.
How You Can Help This Bill Get Passed
What’s the strategy at this point? What can families do to help protect this right and help make it possible?
Well, Protect Family Rights has gone back to Congress and said, “You know, 12 years ago you said that there ought to be filtering, that ought to be accessible to families. Once again, just like 12 years ago, the filtering industry is under assault by Hollywood and we’d like you to clarify and update the Family Movie Act of 2005. To be clear that it includes streaming.”
So that’s what we’re doing. We’ll have a bill launched in a couple of weeks. And in terms of what families can do right now are good news organizations. So if they’re part of an organization that’s interested in families and protecting kids and protecting rights. Well, we’d certainly love to have them to sign a group letter with us that says, “Hey Congress, you need to pass this bill.”
Now, once that bill is introduced, which should be within the next couple of weeks. At that point we’ll ask individuals to go to our website, will make it very easy. It’s http://protectfamilyrights.org and go to our website and it will tell them how to get in touch with their congressmen or congresswomen and lobby for support.
We’d really appreciate that. As you know whenever you’re talking the Congress votes make a difference and they listen. So if families say, “Hey, we think we ought to have this right, this capability, the future of this industry is at stake and we’d like to do our part. Well, when the senators and representatives will listen to that.”
Yeah, I sure appreciate y’all’s efforts, man. You know, there’s those war movies and there are other things that have things that I want my kids to learn about and understand in the world but just not in the way that Hollywood typically includes that we don’t want, especially our younger kids to see.
So, this is an important thing I think for people to be able to have that right and have that freedom to be able to use. They don’t want to, they don’t have to. Again, it should be their choice.
But it seems like a win-win for everybody, in my opinion, the studios as well. Again, because they get that additional market. Some of our listeners may be asking, “Well, Rick, why do we want the government getting involved? You’re always saying, ‘free market’ and ‘let people choose between themselves and that sort of thing.”
But in this case, you’re not talking about the transaction between the individual and the studio you’re talking about what the individual does with the product. Once they bring it into their home.
Yeah, that’s exactly right. The bill, as the language states, it really wouldn’t take any revenue at all away from Hollywood. In fact, it would add revenue to them. It would allow you to order movies from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, or wherever you get your movies and then simply order filtering on top of that. So it really doesn’t interfere in the studio revenue whatsoever.
What about a website, Bill? I’ll let you go here, is our place they can go to follow what’s happening?
Yes, our website is http://protectfamilyrights.org and it will give you the latest on how the work with Congress is going. Again, when it’s time to contact your Congressman or Congresswomen we will let you know and give you the bill number and just be so appreciative of your support.
Excellent, alright, http://protectfamilyrights.org. Folks should go visit the website, we’ll have a link today at WallBuildersLive.com to make it easy for you. Bill, appreciate your time. Thanks for coming on.
Rick, thanks for the good work you do. We really appreciate you and appreciate you having me on.
You bet. Stay with us folks be right back with David and Tim barton.
Moment From American History
This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. Many today assert that religion is something private, that has no place in the public square, and that it is incompatible with government.
The Founding Fathers believed exactly the opposite. They held that religion was absolutely necessary in order to maintain our free system of government. For example, John Adams declared, “We have no government armed with power, capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.”
And signer of the Declaration, Benjamin Rush, similarly affirmed, “Without religion, there can be no virtue and without virtue, there can be no liberty and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.” The Founding Fathers understood that limited government required public morality from the people. And that public morality was produced by the Christian religion. For more information about the Founding Fathers views on religion in public life go to WallBuilders.com
We Need This Law Updated
Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Again, Protect Family Rights is the name of the organization. Thanks to Bill for coming on and sharing with us. I encourage you as families if you want that option to let your legislator know that action needs to be taken to update it with the new technology.
Back with David and Tim. Obviously, Bill as CEO of ClearPlay he helped families all over the country have that freedom and that opportunity. So he knows what it’s like to bless people with that power and that freedom to be able to dictate what’s going to come in their home. Hopefully, we can get that done again.
Not only does he know what it’s like to be able to help families filter out the content that they deem to be inappropriate for whatever age is watching it. But also, because he was a part of ClearPlay, he knows the battles that have to be fought. He knows what they went through. Whether it was Congress or Hollywood, he understands this. So this is why it’s great to have someone like this who is leading the charge because this is not breaking new ground for them.
May I point out how much this cultural battle has shifted? One of the very first political projects I ever got involved with in my life involved actually Senator Al Gore of Tennessee before he was ever on the national stage, vice president or anything else. And it was with his wife Tipper Gore and Tipper, they were Democrats at the time and we were working with Democrat legislators in Pennsylvania on record labeling.
Wait, a second, is that true?
That is true.
That seems like an inconvenient truth.
Oh, that’s bad. That’s really bad. But at that time they were working on making sure parents had the right to cut out profanity in rap music or in albums. And so we were doing record labeling on albums to show you even where they were at that point in time. Look how far the culture shifted.
Now we’re saying, “Hey, even in your own home you can’t do that.” And this is no reason to be an R versus PG thing, it’s just a family kind of thing. And so this is a way where we can contact congressmen, we can say, “Hey, it’s time to update this law. What you guys intended 12 years ago needs to be carried through right now. We passed it 12 years ago we can sure pass it again.” It’s just a simple call to tell him to update this law.
It’s not saying that they can’t have that content. And for families that don’t want to filter, obviously, this doesn’t take any options away from anybody. This is giving more options to families.
Frankly, it will also increase the revenues like Bill and I we’re talking about of the studios because it’s going to broaden their audience from people like us that wouldn’t otherwise. Great opportunity to give people more options, put parents back in charge. Go to the website to find out more. It’s called, Protect Family Rights. Thanks for listening today, you’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live!