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Reforming HollywoodHow American Protestants Fought for Freedom at the Movies$
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William D. Romanowski

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195387841

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195387841.001.0001

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Movie Consulting—Protestant Style

Movie Consulting—Protestant Style

(p.124) 8 Movie Consulting—Protestant Style
Reforming Hollywood

William D. Romanowski

Oxford University Press

Events in the late 1950s that led the National Council of Churches to seek a new role for the church role in Hollywood are the concern of this chapter. To engage the media industries, a new Broadcasting and Film Commission (BFC) was created with offices in New York and Hollywood. Producers were emboldened, and the Production Code eventually revised after the Supreme Court ruled in 1952 that movies were entitled to free speech protection. After clashing with producers over depictions of Protestant characters in several movies, the BFC’s West Coast Office director publicly condemned Hollywood for its blatant disregard of the Code and hinted at a possible Protestant boycott. Realizing that divergent outlooks existed within its agency, the BFC leadership began restructuring its West Coast operation and launched a study of the role of the church in relation to the mass media.

Keywords:   National Council of Churches, Broadcasting and Film Commission, New York, Hollywood, Production Code, Supreme Court

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