Yahoo! News
March 8, 2002

Hollywood Gets Handbook on War
LOS ANGELES (AP) — An industry advisory group that counsels Hollywood on responsibly handling issues such as substance abuse and auto safety has added terrorism and war to its list.

"Spotlight on a New Normal," a handbook from the Entertainment Industries Council, Inc., will be distributed to more than 3,000 industry members who create and distribute films and television programs.

It includes suggestions for depicting terrorism and conditions of war. Among them: Promote preparedness for future vulnerabilities or attacks and consider story lines that promote volunteerism and flag displays in memory of terrorism victims.

The handbook was developed in response to the Sept. 11 attacks and is intended to help define the role Hollywood can play in the war on terrorism, the council said.

"While we do not endorse or encourage government interference with the creative process, we do, however, believe that government can be a reliable resource for information that writers can draw upon for character and story line development," council president Brian Dyak said Thursday.

In the past, the EIC has worked to encourage the accurate depiction of drug, alcohol and tobacco use in movies and TV and to encourage depictions of such safety measures as seat belts in cars.

The Bush administration has asked Hollywood executives to take part in the war on terrorism by boosting the spirits of citizens and entertaining soldiers at home and abroad.

Although some in the industry have expressed uneasiness about acting as government propagandists, the White House has said it doesn't see Hollywood in that role.