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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

because no one smoked or swore in the 1960s

Florida lawmakers are hoping to withhold tax incentives from any film production in the state that intends to result in a movie unsuitable for kindergartners. A production that wishes to receive credits must be “family friendly”:

A certified production determined by the Commissioner of Film and Entertainment, with the advice of the Florida Film and Entertainment Advisory Council, to be family-friendly… Family-friendly productions are those that have cross-generational appeal; would be considered suitable for viewing by children age 5 or older… and do not exhibit or imply any act of smoking, sex, nudity, nontraditional family values, gratuitous violence, or vulgar or profane language. Under the current incentive program, review of the final release version is not required and nontraditional family values, gratuitous violence, and implied acts do not exclude a film from receiving this additional credit.

Is “sex” a “nontraditional family value?” Where do these people think families come from, anyway?

As always with such idiocy, it gets worse:

State representative Stephen Precourt, whose district includes Disney World, says the purpose of the credit is to encourage movies to depict cinematic life from the 1960s. “Think of it as like Mayberry,” Precourt told the Palm Beach Post News. “That’s when I grew up — the ’60s. That’s what life was like. I want Florida to be known for making those kinds of movies: Disney movies for kids and all that stuff. Like it used to be, you know?”

See? Life was a paradise in the 1960s. Husbands never hit wives — or perhaps smacking around a woman who does not know her place qualifies as a traditional family value — no violent robberies occurred, no black man was beaten up and left for dead because of the color of his skin, and no one was ever naked, not for the entire decade.

But wait, there’s more:

Precourt claims that his provision does not specifically target movies with gay characters but “asked if shows with gay characters should get the tax credit, he said, ‘That would not be the kind of thing I’d say that we want to invest public dollars in.’”

Well, obviously. Because everyone knows that David Bowie invented homosexuality in 1973. Duh.

This has been your WTF Thought for the Day.



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  • mortadella

    When I read stuff like this it makes me cringe. Is it any wonder other countries think we’re so cloistered? Why does child-proofing the world feel so hideously Orwellian to me?

  • My white, middle-class mom grew up in Florida in the 50’s and 60’s. If they made a movie of her childhood it would be pretty horrific. I wouldn’t watch it based on all the abuse and sick stuff going on in it. This man is either a liar or has repressed his memories to a tragic degree.

    Mayberry wasn’t a real place. Those were not real people. And legislators who are that stupid/ignorant should be fired, impeached or recalled until they experience reality.

  • I vote for repressed. I think there’s been a lot of historical memory repression for two reasons.

    First, it is hard to bash liberals without first having to deny all the good things they’ve accomplished, and to deny that first you have to deny that the problems they solved existed in the first place.

    Second, I’ve known liars and I’ve known people who repress, and when you challenge them, liars just get slippery but people who repress get angry, like the Tea Party. This is because the liar is lying for a logical reason (I tell this lie and I get this thing) while the repressed person is lying to themselves first for emotional reasons. That’s a rule of thumb of mine, BTW, not a hard and fast rule.

  • Hitler would have approved.

  • Eric Dale Eubanks

    Oh, what heebie-jeebies this gives me.

  • Cyndy

    I never really get what the point is for people like this. Making sappy movies didn’t make the world sparkle back in the day, so why would it now? Or does he just want more crap to set his kids in front of so he can ignore them?

  • OTOH, I work in The Industry in LA. The fewer states that give tax cuts for filming, the less competition we have.

    Go to it, jackass legislator in denial!

  • Shadowen

    In the mortal words of the intarwubs:

    what is this i dont even

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    I don’t see this as gaining much traction, because it is so far opposed to the intent of the credit. That intent, of course, is to attract film production companies to the state. Productions bring jobs, jobs bring workers, workers increase the tax revenues. Unless the Florida legislature is swimming in Scrooge McDuck-style pools of gold coins, they’re not going to cut into this revenue stream.

  • Mathias

    Can you imagine if Florida ran the inverse of those viewer discretion tags before every great tv show?

    “Congrats, you are watching what would be considered suitable for viewing by children age 5 or older, depicting nor implying any act of smoking, sex, nudity, nontraditional family values, gratuitous violence, or vulgar or profane language.”

    I can’t why these shows wouldn’t pull down 30 million viewers.

    American Idol, watch your back.

  • Mathias

    The most insidious part of this story is the inclusion of the term “nontraditional family values”, implying that all of these new shows should basically be updated versions of Leave It To Beaver and The Andy Griffith Show.

    This is exactly why we need more women, minorities and LGBT members of our communities in higher positions of power. If only to stop these old white men who are hellbent on trying to re-adjust our cultural constructs to reflect an ideal America that has never existed except in the minds of conservatives.

    I think The Daily Show handled this a few months ago, when they interviewed Americans who were raised in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s and showed that each decade had a devestating social crisis that puts to shame anything we’re grappling with today.

    I wish this politician would travel back to the summer of love back in ’67 and really see what his parents shielded him from.

  • Fortunately I have enough older relatives who were alive during that era that I need neither The Daily Show nor history books to tell me how it really was.

    After my generation, however, the deluge…

  • “This is exactly why we need more women, minorities and LGBT members of our communities in higher positions of power. If only to stop these old white men who are hellbent on trying to re-adjust our cultural constructs to reflect an ideal America that has never existed except in the minds of conservatives.”

    the only trouble is all those old white men are keeping the power all to themselves… haven’t you noticed?

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