Putting a Presbyterian in Charge of Hollywood

William D. Romanowski

in Reforming Hollywood

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780195387841
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950188 | DOI:
Putting a Presbyterian in Charge of Hollywood

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This chapter begins with Will H. Hays, an eminent Presbyterian layman and powerful leader in the national Republican Party, becoming the first president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA) in 1922. It traces Hays’s efforts to position the Protestant establishment, via the Federal Council of Churches and women’s organizations, as a bulwark against legalized censorship. Hays expected in turn that this alliance would increase his power over film producers and also placate his critics. Favoring industry self-regulation and averse to legalized censorship, the Federal Council of Churches cooperated with the Hays organization in mutually beneficial endeavors that culminated in the production of Cecil B. DeMille’s The King of Kings in 1927.

Keywords: Will H. Hays; Republican Party; women's organizations; legalized censorship; Federal Council of Churches; Cecil B. DeMille; The King of Kings

Chapter.  7490 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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