A string of celebrity scandals would bring scrutiny to the studios and their films. Congress and local governments threatened to enforce strict censorship on the studios. Would the censorship survive constitutional scrutiny? Probably not, but the studios weren’t willing to risk it. In response to the scrutiny, the studios banded together to enact strict restrictions on themselves. They hired a conservative, Republican politician to enforce this new voluntary code- Will Hayes. These new restrictions would chase Mae West into a decades long exodus from Hollywood; if she couldn’t make the innuendo filled movies that she loved, she didn’t want to play along.
All of the major studios agreed to have their pictures approved by the Hayes Office and the vast majority of theaters vowed to never show unapproved films. This would succeed in getting the government off their backs.