Jessica Rosner (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tue, 4 Feb 2003 07:29:29 -0800 (PST)
Well as the distributors of THE TIN DRUM which as far as I know was the only
OTHER film that encountered this, I am VERY familiar with the situation
SWEET, SWEETBACK'S BADASS SONG has an OFFICIAL R rating from the MPAA
( though it originally may have had an X). It has been WIDELY available
on video for many years and can easily purchased at any major website and is
most likely carried by Blockbuster which is hardly the profile of Kiddie
Going back to the THE TIN DRUM, the Oklahoma City prosecutor tried
unsuccessfully to keep the case in state court. A Federal judge ruled rather
quickly that it was NOT child pornography and because the police had seized
copies from individuals ( as well as the library), the eventually had to pay
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of dollars in legal costs.
Tragically one issue NEVER resolved by this case was in fact the Federal
Child Pornography law. The ACLU which handled the case on behalf of an
individual from whom the police seized a tape, had wanted the federal judge
to rule more broadly that the law which stated that a film which so much
as IMPLIED sex between anyone under 18 could be considered child
pornography, was unconstitutionally vague. Because the Judge quickly ruled
that THE TIN DRUM was not porn , he would not rule on the larger issue
I have no doubt the FBI will laugh at these people which is in a way too
bad as it would be nice to finally get some clarification. I remember
vividly during the case that the ACLU asked the other side if various
films that contained characters under 18 who could be at least implied
to be engaging in sex COULD be child pornography. The list included
TITANIC, Romeo & Juliet, The Blue Lagoon etc. The other side replied
that YES these COULD be considered porn. No wonder they lost a few hundred
You have nothing to worry about as to SSBBS being considered Child
Pornography by any legal authority but you have some scary patrons
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 10018
> From: john <email@example.com>
> Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Date: Mon, 3 Feb 2003 17:22:30 -0800 (PST)
> To: Multiple recipients of list <email@example.com>
> Subject: “Sweet Sweetback's Badass Song”
> Our library has had the film “Sweet Sweetback's Badass Song” challenged by a
> patron because he claims it contains scenes of 'child pornography'.
> I've been able to find 4 reviews (Video Source Book gave it 3 of 4, All Movie
> Guide gave it 3 of 5, VideoHound gave it 3 of 5, Leonard Maltin gave it 3 of
> OCLC indicates that nearly 200 libraries in the US hold the title, mostly
> academic libraries, and from my research I've discovered that this movie
> started the 'blaxploitation' style films.
> My questions;
> Has anyone had 'experience' with this title?
> Would you mind pointing me in the direction of more reviews?
> If you have a copy, could I borrow it for screening purposes because the local
> authorities are holding my library's copy for the FBI to preview?
> Never a dull moment.
> John Fossett
> PS. Can anyone think of legal cases with similar issues?
> John F. Fossett
> Media Librarian
> Kitsap Regional Library
> KRL, more than books!