The Hollywood Reporter
March 4, 2002

EIC advises on depicting terror

By Steve Brennan

Guidelines for depicting terrorism onscreen have been published by the Entertainment Industries Council in the form of a resource booklet titled "Spotlight on... A New Normal."

The booklet will be distributed to more than 3,000 writers, producers, actors, development executives and other industry professionals, EIC chief executive Brian Dyak said.

"As an integral part of the entertainment industry for nearly 20 years, EIC's staff felt compelled to compile this publication," he said.

Among the suggestions the EIC makes to the creative community is to encourage audiences to understand the importance of preparedness and organizing family communication plans and evacuation plans as well as gathering emergency disaster stocks and first-aid supplies. "Show neighbors working together," the guidelines suggest.

The guidelines also suggest, "Consider story lines that promote donating goods, donating blood, volunteerism in schools, victim assistance programs, displaying the American flag in memory of lost lives to terrorism."

The EIC urges film and TV producers to "discourage the paralyzing fear that arises from terrorism and promote preparedness for future vulnerabilities or even attacks."

"Spotlight on... A New Normal" was developed in response to the tragic events that shook our country and the world on Sept. 11," Dyak said. Previously the EIC has been involved in such issues as the responsible depiction of drug, alcohol and tobacco in the entertainment media. The group produces the nationally syndicated Prism Awards, which honor responsible and accurate reflection of societal issues. "A New Normal" is part of a series of publications from the EIC under the banner of Spotlight On." Each issue highlights different social hot spots, with suggestions on how best the entertainment community can accurately portray them.

"In all the years of our work in the drug abuse field, I never imagined that we would take a leap to the broader issues of terrorism," Dyak said.