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Skirt-lifting was one of many suggestive activities detested by Hays.Soon, the flouting of the code became an open secret.Under some circumstances, politicians, police officers and judges could be villains, as long as it was clear that they were the exception to the rule.The entire document contained Catholic undertones and stated that art must be handled carefully because it could be "morally evil in its effects" and because its "deep moral significance" was unquestionable.And if clergy were always to be presented positively, then hypocrisy could not be examined either.
In 1922, after some risqué films and a series of off-screen scandals involving Hollywood stars, the studios enlisted Presbyterian elder William H.
Robinson, were a mainstay of the pre-Code releases of the Hollywood studios.
The anti-hero characters could transgress society's rules in a way that the audience could not, but always paid for their crimes at the end of the film.
served for 25 years as president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA), where he "defended the industry from attacks, recited soothing nostrums, and negotiated treaties to cease hostilities." Hollywood mimicked the decision Major League Baseball had made in hiring judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis as League Commissioner the previous year to quell questions about the integrity of baseball in wake of the 1919 World Series gambling scandal; The New York Times called Hays the "screen Landis".
and while there had been token attempts to clean up the movies before, such as when the studios formed the National Association of the Motion Picture Industry (NAMPI) in 1916, little had come of the efforts.