A federal court has stopped the family-friendly content filter VidAngel from doing business, despite a federal law allowing what the company does to protect children from inappropriate video content.
VidAngel was designed to be the last line of protection for families when parents forget or are unaware about inappropriate content in movies. It censors everything from violence to nudity to bad language.
For instance, in the movie classic Gone With the Wind, families would hear the famous lines, “Rhett, if you go, what shall I do? … Frankly my dear, I don't give a [beep].”
VidAngel saves parents from embarrassment and from having to explain to their kids what the word means. The service lets parents stream current movies and block the objectionable content, and it has been perfectly legal for years.
But this is no longer the case. This week, a federal court in Los Angeles appeased the big Hollywood studios and shut the service down.
Vid Angel CEO Neal Harmon expressed that the controversial ruling was a punch in the gut, especially because the United States Congress passed a law back in 2005 called the Family Movie Act.
“We're baffled … We're baffled by the judge's ruling,” Harmon shared. “It doesn't seem to consider the family movie act whatsoever, and it seems very much like a results-oriented ruling.”
Dan Gainor of the Media Research Center argues that Hollywood is cutting off its nose to spite its face.
“Here's one of these opportunities where Hollywood can win a fight and lose a war,” Gainor contended. “Certainly, they can shut down VidAngel. But rather than doing that, what they should do is work with them.”
But Hollywood directors put that objectionable content into the film – even if parents cannot figure out any possible reason other than to make them look bad in front of their families, and they do not want parents tampering with their so-called “artistic vision” that is laden with promiscuity, drugs and expletives.
“Thirty-seven percent of the American public is conservative,” Gainor informed. “A good chunk of that wants family-friendly content. And I would say a good chunk of [the] 35 [percent] who are moderate and maybe even the 24 [percent] who are liberal want some family-friendly content, so they're not having their 10-year-old look at sex scenes.”
VidAngel maintains that it will appeal the ruling all the way to the United States Supreme Court if it gets that far.
12/19/2016 - Reference to Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals corrected to reference "a federal court in Los Angeles."