Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law


Clay Calvert

First Page



This Article uses the Pahler legal battle as a case study to examine the current culture wars that have placed the Hollywood recording and entertainment industries in the legal crosshairs of both legislative and judicial efforts to redefine popular teen culture. The first section demonstrates how the theories at issue in Pahler mirror the tactics used in the recent war against tobacco industry advertising that also allegedly targeted minors. Next, the Article situates Pahler within the context of Congressional hearings in the fall of 2000 that focused attention on the alleged Hollywood marketing of products featuring violent content to minors. It then scrutinizes the Second Amended Complaint in Pahler to show the types of framing mechanisms variously used by the plaintiffs to pitch the case within the context of advertising and to place it outside the scope of First Amendment protection. The Article ultimately concludes that the proper solution to the problems and issues raised by cases like Pahler can be found not in the creative application (or misapplication) of unique legal theories to First Amendment issues, but rather in fighting fire with fire--by implementing aggressive media literacy programs in the nation's elementary schools.