The line drawn representing what is deemed decent and appropriate, seems to have been pushed and then pushed a little more. Now almost every rating of movie has some sort of moral compromise, be it dozens of profane words, nudity, violence, on down to innuendo in what should be movies appropriate for children. Then came VidAngel.
More than two dozen leaders are now standing with VidAngel in the legal battle with Disney and other Hollywood studios, as 30,000 donors contribute to the legal defense of VidAngel, which is the market-leading entertainment platform empowering users to filter language, nudity, violence, and other content from movies and TV shows. VidAngel’s success has been well documented, earning a #1 BestCompany.com user rating. VidAngel is one of the fastest growing entertainment companies in the U.S.
Support for VidAngel continues to grow, led by The Parents Television Council and Enough is Enough, National Center on Sexual Exploitation, the American Family Association, Media Research Center, and other flagship nonprofits. The National Research Group poll reveals 82% of Values Audience parents are concerned about explicit content in movies and TV shows, and 57 million Americans are likely to use VidAngel’s service.
VidAngel, the market-leading entertainment platform empowering users to filter language, nudity, violence, and other content from movies and TV shows, continues to gain a surge of grassroots support as the company prepares for its preliminary injunction hearing in late October. Disney with Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox, and Lucasfilm, have taken legal action to prevent VidAngel from providing families the ability to filter content on modern devices in their homes as explicitly authorized under the 2005 Family Movie Act. Sony, Universal, and MGM chose not to join the lawsuit.
Last week, as VidAngel filed its opposition to the preliminary injunction, many submitted declarations to the court, detailing how the service is clearly in the public interest. Along with nearly two dozen leaders of well-known non-profit organizations, led by The Parents Television Council, in their support for and solidarity with the Utah-based startup company, nearly 30,000 donors from around the nation have now contributed to the company’s growing legal defense fund.
Dr. Jim Garlow, Senior Pastor of Skyline Church in San Diego, heard daily on 800 radio stations nationwide, added his name to the list of supporters, and says, “VidAngel offers a service that is critically important. Our community, which represents thousands of families, cares deeply about being able to make thoughtful decisions about the entertainment they consume in the home. By empowering our families to filter language, sex, profanity, blasphemy, and other content they object to, VidAngel and other filtering services open up a whole new world of possibility. A world in which we can share important movies and programs that teach valuable lessons, but in a way that is safe for our kids. As I stand with VidAngel as a valuable resource to have, movie filtering is absolutely in the public interest, and can be a vital option to our community.”
Tim Winter, President of the Parents Television Council, says, “The studios that are suing VidAngel must believe that if a standard is good, then a double-standard is twice as good. When Hollywood believes content should be altered or filtered, they eagerly step in and do it themselves. About a decade ago, NBC secured the broadcast rights to the beloved children’s animated series VeggieTales; but when the network aired the program, they removed references to God—despite the program being created by Christian producers who hoped to share Christian values. And when the television program Duck Dynasty was among the most-watched programs every week, ‘bleeps’ were edited into the programming to suggest harsh profanity was being used, even when no actual profanity was in fact being used. The network wanted to create the false impression in order to bring more ‘edginess’ to the show, despite the fact that the show was so popular precisely because it was squeaky-clean. And on every program on every network, promotional materials are placed above or below the program during its broadcast.
“The ‘altering’ of the producer’s ‘work’ occurs regularly, hours of every day on every network. The notion that Hollywood must vigorously prevent content filtering or editing for the sake of the creative community doesn’t pass the laugh-test.
VidAngel is the only service that allows consumers to filter out offensive content while streaming the remaining content to their personal viewing devices, wherever they happen to be. VidAngel is clearly operating within both the spirit and the letter of the Family Movie Act. VidAngel allows each parent and each family to consume entertainment content precisely in accord with their unique standards. If the Hollywood studios convince the Court to impede or interfere with VidAngel’s legitimate and lawful business, American families will be deprived of the very right granted to them by Congress in the Family Movie Act.”
The list of leaders who submitted declarations to the court on behalf of VidAngel last week include:
• Tim Winter, President, Parents Television Council
• Patrick A Trueman, President & CEO, National Center on Sexual Exploitation
• L. Brent Bozell, President, Media Research Center
• Andrea Lafferty, President, Traditional Values Coalition
• Bob Waliszewski, Director, Focus on the Family’s Plugged In
• Donna Rice Hughes, President, Enough is Enough
• Gary Bauer, President, American Values
• George Roller, Ambassador, Center for Christian Statesmanship
• Harry Jackson, Bishop of the International Communion of Evangelical Churches
• Matt Kibbe, Chief Community Organizer, Free the People
• Gary Marx, President, Madison Strategies
• Rebecca Hagelin, Author and Family Expert
• David Bozell, President, for America
• Tim Wildmon, President, American Family Association
• Bryan and Diane Schwartz, Founders, Family Goals
• Ted Baehr, Publisher of Movieguide and Chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission
• David Barton, Founder and President, Wallbuilders
• Rick Green, Host, Wallbuilders Live Radio
• Tim Barton, Chief Operating Officer, Wallbuilders
• Connor Boyack, President, Libertas
The Values Audience includes in the U.S. 52 million adults representing 37% of the entertainment market. Their faith is extremely important to them and is part of their daily lives. Further interesting statistics related to the Values Audience include the following:
• Almost half (46%) of this segment identifies as Evangelical or “born-again” Christian, compared to 28% among the general population.
• 64% attend weekly religious services, compared to 38% among the general population.
• 52% pray several times a day, compared to 27% among the general population.
• 34% list religious activities as an interest they enjoy (vs.17% among the general population, and 29% attend bible study (vs.14% among the general population).
• The Values Audience is equally split on gender, and skews more towards younger adults. The majority (52%) are under age 34, with 29% ages 18-24.
• 51% of the Values Audience have kids, compared to 40% of the general population. This segment is also more likely to have younger children under age 12 (37% vs. 30% among the general population).
• The majority are Caucasian (57%), but the Values Audience has a higher percentage of African-Americans (18% vs. 12% among the general population), and Hispanics (18% vs. 15% among the general population).
• 82% of Values Audience parents are likely to say it is “very important” to know about any explicit content before deciding if their child should watch, compared to 72% among the general population.
• 57% of Values Audience adults are much more likely to say it is “very important” to know about any explicit content before deciding whether or not they, themselves, will watch a TV show or movie, compared to 34% among the general population.
• 59% of the Values Audience say they use website resources and tools to monitor explicit content their family watches, vs. only 30% among the general population.
• 64% of Values Audience parents say they use parental controls to monitor and control the TV and movie content their children watch at home vs. 53% among the general population
The next step in the Disney v. VidAngel case is a preliminary injunction hearing to be argued in the Central District of California federal court on October 31, 2016.
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