A History Lesson on Transforming the Culture

Baehr1Guest Editorial

By Dr. Ted Baehr

Christian leaders gather often to honor the prominent names and significant achievements of their peers. At one such event, troche several people stood up to commend a boycott, years ago that had to do with Brandon Tartikoff, when he was president of NBC and later chairman of Paramount Pictures.  Here is the rest of the story.

The late Brandon Tartikoff was a significant figure in Hollywood. The boycotts didn’t work as well as intended. Dr. Ted Baehr, however, helped Mr. Tartikoff by analyzing his script for Leap of Faith and eventually was one of the people God used to turn Brandon Tartikoff to Jesus Christ when he was struggling with his only injured child, Calla.

Tartikoff went from being cutting edge, typical Hollywood to being a strong advocate of family, faith and morality. In fact, Tartikoff told Premiere magazine in November 1992, “You’ve got to have moral standards; you’ve got to believe your logo stands for something.”

In the final analysis, Movieguide® has seen tremendous positive changes in the movie industry. Some of the statistics are staggering.

For example, in the past five years, movies with very strong Christian content and values have averaged $82.97 million per movie, but movies with very strong Non-Christian or offensive content averaged only $21.28 million. This compares to $30.13 million versus $22.49 million per movie, respectively, in 1999.

One of the reasons for such improvements is because we help people by showing them how they can make more money with movies that reach a broader audience. Another is that we always remember that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is good news and calls us to love one another when dealing with our friends in the entertainment industry.

This doesn’t mean we don’t take a strong stand on obscenity or other content that’s offensive to the 129 million Americans who go to church each week, but we do so with a vision of always helping people, through gentle instruction and firm exhortation, understand the truth, which is the love of Jesus Christ that sets them free.

That’s how we’ve been able to redeem the values of many in the entertainment industry, encourage the development of many more positive movies, and transform the culture for the benefit of our children and grandchildren–the world’s future leaders.

Dr. Ted Baehr is Founder and Publisher of Movieguide® and Chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission®, as well as a noted critic, educator, lecturer, and media pundit.

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