After much persuading by Tex Talmadge and me, our classmate Ted Baehr has agreed to spend time with us as our guest in a Casual Conversation to be held via Zoom on Sunday, September 18 at 3 pm Eastern Time (US).  Ted has had a career unique, to my knowledge, to anyone in the Class.  He has forged his own path, exemplifying through his life and work the values he holds dear, and I consider it a real coup that he has agreed to speak with us.  I have assured Ted, as has Tex, that he will be treated with the utmost respect, as have other speakers with whom classmates might have disagreed such as Charles Murray and Deborah Birx, M.D.  And any man who has appeared on both Oprah and Hannity (as well as Fox News and MSNBC) must be worth spending time with.
Here is his CV:
Ted Baehr is the Founder and Publisher of Movieguide® (aka and Chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission®, Ted’ purpose is to redeem the values of the media while educating audiences on how to use discernment. MOVIEGUIDE® reaches 46 million per month through internet, TV and a very large radio audience.
Books:  Ted has written, edited and contributed to 38 books, including:

  • REEL TO REAL: 45 Movie Devotions for Families
  • How To Succeed In Hollywood (Without Losing Your Soul) (WorldNetDaily)
  • The Culture-Wise Family (Regal)
  • Frodo & Harry:  Understanding Visual Media and Its Impact on Our Lives (Crossway)

TV & Film Production:  Ted was president of the organization that produced during his tenure The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe for CBS-TV in 1980, boasting 37 million viewers and winning an Emmy Award.  Baehr also has produced hundreds of programs for PBS television.
CFTVC:  Ted is Chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission®, a non-profit organization dedicated to redeeming the values of the mass media of entertainment by influencing the entertainment industry and by informing and equipping the general public about the impact that the mass media has on its audiences.
Movieguide®:  Ted is the Publisher of Movieguide®:  The Family Guide to Movies and Entertainment.  offers in-depth analyses of current movies from a biblical perspective.
Television Appearances:  Ted has been a featured guest on Oprah, Hannity, CNN, ABC, Fox News, MSNBC, and Entertainment Tonight. In Dec. 2010, 18,000 talk show hosts, producers, news editors, and support staff voted Ted Baehr among the Top 20 Favorite Radio Guests out of 1150 nominees from sectors ranging from entertainment to politics and science to religion in the Poll for the Top 100 Dream Interview Guests of 2010 conducted by
Lectures:  Ted has lectured at the European Parliament, the House of Lords of the Parliament of the U.K., the Parliament of Norway, the Bombay Communication Institute, Trinity Torch University, S. Korea, International Christian Educators Conference in Suwon, South Korea, Oxford, Yale University, Dartmouth College, the University of Virginia,RSSU - Russian State Social University of Film (the oldest film school in the world), U.C.L.A, and keynoted several regional National Day of Prayer Breakfasts. Baehr addresses hundreds of churches and civic groups each year. Ted has formally debated theology and philosophy in many venues such as: U. of San Francisco, Rhoades, Greece, and Kiev, Ukraine. In 2012, Ted was chosen to keynote the 4th Dean's Distinguished Lecturer at the Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP). Ted presides over teaches HOW TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD (WITHOUT LOSING YOUR SOUL) filmmaking classes all over the world. Ted also teaches and lectures on THE CULTURE WISE FAMILY and media wisdom to help families and individuals be equipped and empowered to choose the good, the true and the beautiful. Moreover, Ted preaches around the world several times a year.
Academic: Ted was Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Christian Institute for the Study of Media under the auspices of the Center for the Arts, Religion and Education (CARE), an affiliated Center of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, California. He was the Director of the Television Center at the City University of New York.
Publications:  Ted’s work has been featured in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, The L.A. Times, The Washington Post, Hollywood Reporter, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and U.S. News and World Report.
Events:  CTFVC sponsors the Annual Movieguide® Faith & Values Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry, which includes the MOVIEGUIDE(r) Awards for the best family movies and for the best movies for mature audiences, the two Epiphany Prize®s for the Most Inspiring Movie and Most Inspiring TV Program, the Grace Prize®s for actors who portray God’s Grace, the Faith & Freedom Award®s, the Kairos Prize® Contest for Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays by Beginning Screenwriters, and the Kairos Pro Prize Contest for Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays by Established Screenwriters.  
Personal:  Ted Baehr was born in 1946, the son of Robert Allen (born I.E. “Ted” Baehr ‘29) and Evelyn Peirce, both successful stage, screen and television actors.  Ted is married and has four children and fourteen grandchildren.
Here is an excerpt from his bio set in narrative form, which explains what he done to change the film industry and why he has done so:
Part of the reason for the breakdown of morality in movies and television today, and in the culture at large, is that people of faith retreated from being salt and light in the culture. Ted will explain that story.

In 1946, at the height of the Golden Age of Hollywood inspired in part by the Protestant Film Office and the Catholic Legion of Decency, Ted Baehr was born to Theodore Baehr (whose stage name was Robert “Tex” Allen) and Evelyn Peirce, both successful stage, screen, and television actors. Growing up in New York, Ted followed in his parents’ footsteps, performing in commercials, movies, television, and stage.

After studying abroad at the University of Munich, Germany; Cambridge University, England; and Bordeaux and Toulouse Universities in France, the Film Program at Columbia University's School of the Arts and Northwestern University: Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences: Department of English: Graduate Program, he graduated with High Distinction in Comparative Literature and as a Rufus Choate Scholar from Dartmouth College. He then received his Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law, where he served as the editor of the NYU Law School newspaper. Later, he received his Doctor of Humanities (HHD) from Belhaven College, and then a Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) from Primus University of Theology.

It wasn’t until 1975 that Baehr’s life turned from far left and, while Ted was helping to finance independent movies for The Cannon Group, Inc., a friend suggested that he read the Bible, which changed his perspective both professionally and personally.

Filled with the Holy Spirit by faith in Jesus Christ, Baehr attended seminary at the Institute of Theology at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. To support his seminary education, he accepted a position as the Director of the Television Center at the City University of New York, was director of TV and Radio at Trinity Church, Wall Street, and started the Good News Communications ministry in 1978. He also established the Episcopal Communicate Workshops.

During his tenure at the CUNY, Baehr worked closely with academia, researching and testing the impact of the mass media of entertainment on cognitive development and helping to perfect one of the first media-literacy curriculums.

He was elected President of the Episcopal Radio & Television Foundation in 1979.
During Ted’s tenure, the Episcopal Radio & Television Foundation won an Emmy Award for Best Animated Special for “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe,” that aired on CBS and was watched by more than 37 million viewers. Ted was nominated for another Emmy Award for the PBS Series “Perspectives: War and Peace,” in which he served as the executive producer, creative director and host.

His previous research into the influence of the mass media of entertainment became a primary topic for his talk on Television & Reality at the April 9, 1981 Conference on Culture and Communication convened by Dr. Stewart Hoover at Temple University. At the conference, Baehr received national recognition.

In 1983, while Ted was serving on the Communications Board of the National Council of Churches and the National Religious Broadcasters, the great movie producer Ken Wales (THE PINK PANTHER and CHRISTY) introduced Ted to George Heimrich and George's work at the now-defunct Protestant Film Office. Inspired by George Heimrich and George's beloved wife Lucille, Dr. Baehr began contacting prominent members of the entertainment industry, and beginning in 1985, founded MOVIEGUIDE®: A Family Guide to Movies and Entertainment. Heimrich donated his Protestant Film Office files to the ministry, where they now reside. The ministry uses the same vision for positive change reflected in those files to redeem the values of the mass media of entertainment according to biblical principles by influencing key entertainment executives to adopt higher standards and by informing and equipping the public, especially parents with children and families.

As a result of conversations with Sir John Templeton beginning in 1988, the Christian Film & Television Commission™ ministry initiated the Annual MOVIEGUIDE® Faith & Values Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry in 1992 in Los Angeles.  The Gala now features the prestigious Epiphany Prizes® for the Most Inspiring Movie and TV Program that helps people know God and understand Him better; the Faith & Freedom Awards® for Promoting Positive American Faith & Values; the Kairos Prize® for Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays by First-Time and Beginning Screenwriters; the Kairos Pro Prize for Spiritually Uplifting Screenplays by Established Screenwriters; the Annual Grace Prizes for the Most Inspiring Performances in Movies & TV, given to the two actors whose performances best displayed God’s grace and mercy toward us as human beings; and, the MOVIEGUIDE® Teddy Bear Awards® for the Ten Best Movies for Families and the Papa Bear Awards for the Ten Best Movies for Mature Audiences. Ted seeks to acknowledge those movies, TV programs and actors truly deserving of praise, and those persons responsible for bringing them to the screen.
To add glamour to the event, actors and actresses are invited to host and be presenters of the awards. Music and entertainment are also added to make it a memorable event. We also hand out Bibles and other redemptive materials to carry out our mission to reach Hollywood for Christ.

Within the context of an elegant affair, Dr. Baehr presents MOVIEGUIDE®’s “Report to the Entertainment Industry.” Through careful analysis of box office figures and MOVIEGUIDE® criteria on 99% of the movie released in 200 theaters or more, including all the major movies released by the seven Hollywood Entertainment Industry studios, Ted gives valuable and unique information to the highest-level Hollywood leaders, filmmakers and talent through a high-impact presentation. Thus, the purpose of the Gala and the Report is:

  • To encourage filmmakers to continue to make movies with moral and spiritually uplifting values;

  • To share the concerns of the majority of the American public in regards to the negative influences of today's movies; and,
  • To present an in-depth study of the annual movie box office and not only dispel myths that extreme sex, violence and nudity sells, but also to show that family movies and movies with morally uplifting, Christian values and positive Christian content make the most money by far.

When we started MOVIEGUIDE® in 1985, the major studios in Hollywood released few movies with any positive Christian content or values – less than 3%!  By the time we started the Annual MOVIEGUIDE® Faith & Values Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry in 1992 and 1993, however, there were 27 such movies, or about 10.38% of the market share. Incredibly, in 2019, many of the movies released contained at least some positive biblically worthwhile and/or redemptive content!

Also, when we started in 1985, less than 6% of the major movies were aimed at families. In the past several years, movies marketed to families have increased to nearly 40% of the top movies released in your local movie theaters.

The former chairman of a major Hollywood studio told me he attributed all these positive and many more shifts directly to MOVIEGUIDE®’s influence as well as the box office analysis in the Annual Report to the Entertainment Industry. Many major movie studios now have a Christian, faith-based film division, and several studios are doing major movies with strong and overt Christian or biblical content. Also, now, most of the major studios  are doing movies for young children and families.
I hope (and expect!) a substantial turnout for this event, whether or not you agree with Ted.  And note that Ted has not made a single reference to government action to change the face or content of film.  I will, of course, be there as someone whose grandfather helped found Famous Players Lasky (later Paramount Pictures), and who loves the films of the classic era, before, during, and after the vigorous enforcement of the Production Code.
The usual rules apply: Please let me know ( if you wish to participate by close of business on Friday, September 16.  I will then include you on a Zoom link I will send out on that Friday or Saturday before the session.  
See you there.

Ted Baehr



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