Sex, Drugs, and Violence Onscreen: The Ethics of Entertainment

Have you ever seen a film or show with a depiction of sex, violence, drugs, or even a stereotype and wondered about it? Maybe it was uncomfortable, or tone deaf, or just in poor taste, but the depiction left an impression for all the wrong reasons. And, if you’re anything like us, you wonder if the creators put some thought into what they were presenting on screen. Or did they blunder into the uncomfortable situation without realizing what the depiction would mean.

Don’t worry! Miguel Valenti is here to help us avoid these pitfalls!

This 90 Minute Webinar Will Cover:

  • Creator intention vs. audience interpretation 
  • The use of stereotypes 
  • Connotations, coding, and context 
About Your Host:

Miguel Valenti is an active independent motion picture and television producer, an entertainment attorney and an advisor on media and entertainment-related issues. He is also the Founding Director of the West Coast campus of highly acclaimed Quinnipiac University, home of the Quinnipiac Poll. He was formerly the Lincoln Professor of Ethics and the Arts at Arizona State University, and the creator of ASU’s film school.

Valenti produced The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, a loving send-up of the 1960’s Roger Corman low-budget sci-fi motion pictures, for a micro-budget in 2000. This motion picture went on to be released theatrically by Tri-Star Pictures/Sony Entertainment nationwide in 2001 and worldwide in 2003. He then executive produced three successful sequels. He also produced Vig (aka The Money Kings) written by award-winning screenwriter/poet/playwright Paul Hapenny, starring Peter Falk, Lauren Holly, Timothy Hutton, Freddie Prinze, Jr., Tyne Daly and Colm Meaney (Barbra Streisand’s Barwood Films & Lion’s Gate Entertainment, Executive Produced). Other producing credits include Abracadabra, and Master of the Manor, a short that Valenti also co-wrote with 2004 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Fiction Doug Wright (Quills), and co- directed, and which earned a Cine Golden Eagle as well as top awards at major film festivals and was distributed internationally. Finally, he has produced over 50 spots, commercials, promos and films for Arizona State University, its administration, faculty and students, local organizations, charities and so on.

Valenti’s book, More Than a Movie: Ethics In Entertainment (Westview Press; October 2000) urges members of the creative community to examine the ethical choices they make on a daily basis, and to consider how such choices affect their worldwide audience. The book features contributing articles from filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich, critics Annette Insdorf and Les Brown, and interviews with Producer David Brown (Jaws), producer Christine Vachon (Boys Don’t Cry) and other notable voices from motion picture production and scholarship. The book is currently in its sixth printing, having sold out its first run in less than eight weeks. Valenti has been a guest on CNN and a number of regional and national radio broadcasts, and lectures on the topic of ethics in entertainment nationally. He also serves as a consultant to producers and organizations interested in the topic.


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