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The Arbuckle trial wasn’t the only scandal in the early 1920s. In one case, a bisexual director was found murdered. There were also several situations where movie stars died from drug overdoses. As a result, the nation's religious leaders stepped in and began forming local censorship boards and chopping up movies every which way to suit the standards of their communities.
== Hollywood Censorship ====
The Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA) had formed in 1922 to reassure America that Hollywood did not condone immorality in the wake of lifestyle scandals than in newspaper headlines, like those of Fatty Arbuckle.
Eventually, Hollywood studios banded together under former Postmaster General Will Hays to come up with a list of 36 self-imposed "Don'ts and Be
Carefuls." There were no penalties, no laws, no enforcement. Nevertheless, the movie industry policed itself. the major film studios were governed by a production code requiring that their pictures be "wholesome" and "moral" and encourage what the studios called "correct thinking." While Hays's name would later become synonymous with the Hollywood Code era, his work resulted in general guidelines—not enforcement. However, his name is associated with regulation since he was the first person really tasked with that assignment.
Hollywood wanted to reassure civic leaders throughout the United States that they were interested in promoting a wholesome image, producing clean movies, and self-policing. This way, local agencies would not need to censor or edit films—as had been the norm pre-Code, which resulted in some movies being censored or cut in different ways.
Additionally, there were prohibitions on films displaying (among other things): scenes of nudity, suggestive dancing, discussions of sexual perversity (usually this referred to same-sex relations), superfluous use of liquor, ridicule of religion, miscegenation (or interracial relationships between whites and Blacks), and lustful kissing.
While the Fatty Arbuckle scandal drew attention to some of the more seedy parts of Hollywood, it was one of a few scandals that forced Hollywood executives to turn on the offensive to self-regulate and present a more wholesome image to the rest of the world. As America changed in the 1920s and 1930s, the Hays and Production Codes
were an attempt to counter changes taking place in urban life, gender, and race.
For more on the Hays Code, see: [[The Hays Code, Gangsters, and Prohibition: How did 1934 change Hollywood?]]