Sunday, April 08, 2007
Harvard School of Public Health has recommended the elimination of the 'depiction of tobacco' - brilliantly bureaucratic phrase - in movies 'accessible to youths' - and there's another. The Smoke Free Movies campaign will be delighted. They claim, 'Getting tobacco out of future G, PG and PG-13 films could be one of the most powerful health interventions in the last fifty years.' The Motion Picture Association of America seems to be a little embarrassed about this; they were expecting a rather tamer response from Harvard. Now they're stuck with this scorched earth policy, declining which will, presumably, be seen as a pro-tobacco depiction. What we have here is the not so thin end of a remarkably thick wedge. If tobacco, why not fat food - a particular problem for the Americans - depiction? Why not red meat depiction? Why not people taking insufficient exercise depiction? Why not walking too quickly with scissors depiction? Why not using a mobile phone on a plane depiction? (Actually, it turns out that is not dangerous at all, it's just airline control freakery.) Why not going to an Italian football match depiction? Why not being born depiction? It is, after all, an activity with a 100 per cent mortality rate. A fabulous youth-oriented movie suggests itself - a shot of a cloudy day (sun=melanoma) with no people and nothing happening. My Oscar is in the bag.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 6:16 am