Michigan may soon become the first state to require parental advisories on tickets, posters and other advertising for certain pop music concerts. A bill, sponsored by state Sen. Dale Shugars after he attended a Marilyn Manson performance in Grand Rapids, passed the Michigan Senate last month and is now before a House committee.
Under the bill, concert promoters or venue operators would have to put warning labels on tickets, posters or advertisements for any artist who has released an album with a parental advisory label in the past five years. The bill would let promoters or venues choose to put the label on only one form of advertisement--for example, only the concert posters or only the tickets.
If they fail to use any warning, they could be fined up to $5,000. Record companies voluntarily place the warnings on their albums as part of a Recording Industry Association of America program that began in the 1980s. The RIAA opposes the Michigan bill.
"It's a Draconian measure that we feel could undermine a program that's working," said Joel Flatow, RIAA vice president of government affairs.
A Detroit entertainment attorney has also criticized the measure. "I think it is naive to suggest that putting some sort of a warning on shows will somehow solve problems," said attorney Mike Novak. "Many bands will seek out this kind of labeling to make them more appealing to certain audiences."
Shugars reportedly attended the concert accompanied by two bodyguards and was not impressed to see Manson onstage strapped to a cross and wearing a black G-string. "He was like Satan," Shugars said.