Valenti ignored all protest, though, and today Variety had reported that the LA Film Critics Association has canceled voting for its upcoming 2003 awards ceremony. A statment issued by the association reads:
"Whereas, the members of the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. are committed in our annual awards process to a fair and unbiased evaluation of all films theatrically screened in Los Angeles during the year, whatever their budget or production source;
"Whereas, the ban on screeners seriously inhibits our ability to work as professionals and compromises the integrity and fairness of the evaluative process;
"Therefore, be it resolved that unless there is a timely rescinding of the ban on screeners, LAFCA, with great reluctance, is compelled to cancel this year's voting on awards."
The decision to call of the awards came after the Association concluded that the ban was extremely unfair to smaller, independent films who could not afford to distribute into a wide number of theaters or running a huge advertising blitz.
The industry is sending a clear and strong message to Valenti on this subject: drop the ban. Whether Valenti and the MPAA listen remains to be seen, but the only sure thing right now is that if he doesn't then this is only the beginning.
Discuss your own thoughts on the ban in our forums.