According to Fox News, the Federal Communications Commission is proposing changes to its content guidelines that could end longstanding prohibitions against certain kinds of profanity and nudity on broadcast television. Commenting on what might happen should the proposal be enacted, John Conway, CEO of Astonish Media Group, told Fox News, "Primetime television will start looking more like cable television in terms of language and content. I'm sure networks will test limits for ratings as they do now, but I think the American public will keep the worst outrages in check as they do now." Dan Isett of the Parents Television Council noted, "There's an enormous amount of TV content that parents are going to find problematic, offensive or even harmful to their children. The broadcast indecency law is only meant to deal with the worst of the worst TV and radio content to begin with and now the FCC says it doesn't even want to deal with that." [foxnews.com, 5/21/13]
"I copped to the fact that we should have done a better job of not being gratuitous in our representation of a barely clothed actress."
—Star Trek Into Darkness producer Damon Lindelof, addressing via Twitter questions about why actress Alice Eve is shown in her underwear in one scene in the film. In a follow-up tweet, he added, "What I'm saying is I hear you, I take responsibility and will be more mindful in the future." [salon.com, 5/21/13]
"[The] hookup culture seems like a perversion of what human relationships ought to be. Its distinguishing feature is its lack of discretion, except on the dimensions of physical attractiveness and proximity."
—Harvard University sophomore Lisa J. Mogilanski, on why she's "uncomfortable" with the casual sex hookup culture in the college scene. She also noted, "We can try to dress up the hookup culture as being freeing and equalizing to the genders, but I fear it only leaves us equally impoverished." [usatoday.com, 5/8/13]
After years of heated debate, the Boy Scouts of America has voted to allow gay youth to participate in its programs. More than 1,400 volunteer leaders from across the country voted on the proposed policy change; more than 60% approved the amendment. The organization did not vote on whether it should change its stance on gay leaders, who are still barred from involvement.
Boy Scouts of America chief executive Wayne Brock called the decision "compassionate, caring and kind." But Family Research Council vice president Robert Schwarzwalder said, "The fallout from this is going to be tremendous. I think there will be a loss of hundreds of thousands of boys and parents." And Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, told Baptist Press, "Frankly, I can't imagine a Southern Baptist pastor who would continue to allow his church to sponsor a Boy Scout troop under these new rules." Meanwhile, gay-rights activists voiced their intent to keep pressing for the participation of gay leaders as well. "They're not on our good list yet," said Paul Guequierre of the Human Rights Campaign. [nytimes.com, 5/23/13; chron.com, 5/24/13]
A movie that's being characterized as a lesbian love story took the top prize at the 66th Cannes Film Festival in France over the weekend, La Vie d'Adele
— Chapitre 1 & 2 (which is being released in English as Blue Is the Warmest Colour). Among those in the jury that would select the coveted Palme d'Or prize was Steven Spielberg, who said of the film, "I think it will get a lot of play. … I think this film carries a very strong message, a very positive message." And as thousands coincidentally marched in Paris protesting the prospect of gay marriage in France, Cannes festival director Thierry Fremaux told Reuters, "Everyone who is against same-sex marriage or love between two people of the same sex must see the film." [Reuters, 5/26/13 c&e]
"You can see now we have 13 states in the union that have adopted marriage equality, and that's an unstoppable wave as far as I'm concerned. Whether it comes from the federal government or all 50 states just find their way to it, I feel like it's only a matter of time at this point."
—35-year-old openly gay actor Zachary Quinto, who plays the iconic role of Spock in the latest iteration of the Star Trek franchise [huffingtonpost.com, 5/16/13]
Unplugging in a wireless world (even over a three-day weekend) seems to be impossible for most of us. According to cnbc.com, the average smartphone user checks his or her device approximately 150 times a day, which works out to about once every six waking minutes. Never mind that experts suggest that our tight connection to our mobile devices may ultimately prove counterproductive. "It's like an arms race … everything is an emergency," says Tanya Schevitz, spokeswoman for Reboot, an organization focused on helping people unplug more often. "We have created an expectation in society that people will respond immediately to everything with no delay. It's unhealthy, and it's unproductive, and we can't keep going on like this." [cnbc.com, 5/24/13 stats]
How much video footage is being uploaded to YouTube these days? In a word, more. Specifically, a whopping 100 hours of new footage every minute, according the site's parent company, Google. That's up from 72 hours of new footage a minute a year ago, and 48 hours per minute in 2011. [theverge.com, 5/19/13 stats]
Big tech-laden promises are accompanying the unveiling of the new Xbox One, which seeks to fully integrate gaming, TV watching movie watching, music and the Internet. "Until now the TV viewing experience has been a one-way street for the viewer," said Nancy Tellem, the former CBS executive who currently heads Microsoft Studios. "Now that's all about to change. TV on the Xbox will immerse you, enable you to virtually jump into the action." And, indeed, right out of the gate movie director Steven Spielberg announced that he will serve as executive producer for a live-action Halo television series with accompanying Xbox One content. [latimes.com, 5/21/13]
Tim Lambesis, the frontman for the Christian metalcore band As I Lay Dying was recently arrested for allegedly plotting to kill his estranged wife. Now it's being reported that he was under the influence of steroids at the time of his arrest. His lawyer, Thomas Warwick, told the U-T San Diego, "His thought processes were devastatingly affected by his steroid use." And Rolling Stone apparently gained access to an email Lambesis wrote to his wife, Meggan, last year in which he said he no longer loved her or believed in God. The magazine says she later learned that her husband had engaged in multiple affairs. Meggan Lambesis filed for divorce from Tim in September 2012, citing irreconcilable differences and expressing concern about her husband's negligence in caring for their three adopted children. [rollingstone.com, 5/23/13]
"Since [History Channel's The Bible] series aired, I have talked with numerous people who used to be afraid to discuss their faith with co-workers, but now are being asked all kinds of questions about Christianity. How cool is that?" says Phil Cooke, president of Cooke Pictures. And some believe that the miniseries could spark a groundswell of new faith-based entertainment programming, as Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ did. Others aren't so sure about what it will mean. "If history repeats itself, à la The Passion, a herd of Christian consultants will arise to help Hollywood pick Christian projects," says Phil Vischer, creator of VeggieTales. "But the consultants will choose poorly, weak projects will be made, and Hollywood will lose interest." [christianitytoday.com, 5/13/13]