Columbia Pictures’s 1934 photograph in protest of the Hays Code.
The Motion Picture Production Code was the set of industry moral guidelines that was applied to most United States motion picturesreleased by major studios from 1930 to 1968. It is also popularly known as the Hays Code, after Will H. Hays, who was the president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA) from 1922-45. Under Hays’ leadership, the MPPDA, later known as theMotion Picture Association of America (MPAA), adopted the Production Code in 1930 and began strictly enforcing it in 1934. The Production Code spelled out what was acceptable and what was unacceptable content for motion pictures produced for a public audience in the United States.
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