Christian movie critics are pushing new codes and ratings to pull the movie industry back in line with traditional values.

Jodie Foster, the one-time child actor of family-friendly films, clutched her Oscar and screamed, “No way!” as she learned the film she starred in was only the third in history to sweep the top Academy Award categories.

The Silence of the Lambs, a film about two cannibalistic psychokillers, one a transvestite and the other a demented psychiatrist, had just trounced the animated Disney tale Beauty and the Beast, thought by many to be a legitimate contender for top honors. Beast had scored impressively at the box office, grossing $82 million, but it flopped with the academy’s membership. And in the eyes of several Christian film critics, the outcome of Oscar night provided a vivid portrait of what they say is wrong with Hollywood today.

Ted Baehr, chairman of the Atlanta-based Christian Film and Television Commission, and John Evans, president of the Richardson, Texas-based Movie Morality Ministries, say the last threads of moral fiber are unraveling in Hollywood, leaving it almost completely out of touch with the values of most Americans.

“[Hollywood insiders] are a unique group from the rest of the country because they are so overwhelmingly devoid of religious or traditional values,” Evans says.

Both critics cite statistics to prove their point. A 1989 General Media/Associated Press poll of 1,084 adults showed 8 in 10 people believe today’s films are too violent and profane, and 7 in 10 think they have too much nudity. Yet 45 percent of Hollywood’s 1991 product was excessively violent, up from 40 percent in 1990, according to Baehr’s ratings. And 73 percent in 1991 had at least some immoral sexual content. ...

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