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profiles

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Actor

Animator

Art Director

Casting Director

Director

Editor

Hair/Make-Up

Location Scout

Producer

Production Designer

Props

Screenwriter

Sound Designer

Special/Visual Effects

Stunt Coordinator / Stunt Person

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Where
to watch

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Advancing
Creativity

Superior Films, Inc. v. The Ohio Department of Education

In the early 1950s, a few states—like Ohio—took responsibility for reviewing film content and approving or even editing the film before it could be shown to audiences. This process was followed even if the film was reviewed by the censors of other states and judged acceptable for public viewing elsewhere. Moreover, the state’s censors charged movie studios a hefty fee for the services of reviewing—and sometimes cutting—their content.

1957

In 1953, Superior Films, Inc. sued the Ohio Board of Education for censorship and violating the studio’s first amendment rights to free speech after the state blocked the use of adult material in one of its films. Superior Films, Inc. lost the case in the Ohio State Supreme Court.

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The studio appealed to the Supreme Court

…and their case was heard the following year. The MPAA supported Superior Films, Inc. submitting a statement which argued that Ohio’s Governmental Film Office efforts had effectively censored content produced by the studio in a manner that was "repugnant to the first amendment."

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned

…the Ohio State Supreme Court’s sentence in a unanimous decision, supporting the right for creators to utilize free speech. And few years later in 1968, a national film rating system, the Classification & Ratings Administration (CARA), was developed to provide parents with information to help them determine what level of content is appropriate for their children.

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Just as we protect the rights of creators to produce and benefit from films and television shows, we champion the need for viewers to understand what they can expect to see on the screen.

More free speech case studies