Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 5:31am
RATED R FOR RIDICULOUS
[SOURCE: Los Angeles Times, AUTHOR: Kirby Dick, "This Film is not yet Rated"]
[Commentary] The Motion Picture Assn. of America and the National Assn. of Theatre Owners last week heralded a "reform" of their film ratings system, which assigns the ratings G, PG, PG-13, R and NC-17 to most films released in this country. Unfortunately, the MPAA's changes are almost entirely cosmetic and only go a small way toward fixing a broken system -- a system so closed to public scrutiny that no news organization had been able to disclose its workings until they were revealed in the documentary "This Film Is Not Yet Rated." Despite protestations to the contrary, it appears that the film shamed the MPAA into paying lip service to its critique. As the film revealed, the association has been violating its own rule that raters must have school-age children, and it has refused to allow filmmakers to refer to other films when they appealed a rating. Both absurdities will be fixed. But these are minimal changes. All of the fundamental problems of the ratings system remain: its secrecy and lack of accountability, its bias against independent and gay filmmakers and its excessive concern with sexuality while rating violence much less restrictively. An effective and unbiased film ratings system is of great importance to parents, educators, film audiences and filmmakers. If the MPAA is going to continue to oversee the ratings system, it must make some real changes: reveal the names of all members of the ratings and appeals board, disavow homophobic discrimination and place more restrictive guidelines on violence rather than sex. The sooner it makes these changes, the better.
- Rating the Ratings
- Hollywood set to filter on-screen smoking
- Parents Group Slams Producers for Marketing PG-13 Films to Kids
- Glickman to quit MPAA early
- New Film Ignites Debate on Ratings Policy
- If it's rated 'R,' who brought all these children?
- Music industry online royalty disputes
- Hollywood Rethinks Its Ratings Process
- MPAA's Chris Dodd Calls Piracy Defeat a 'Watershed Event'
- Men Outnumber Women 3-1 in Films
- Search starts for MPAA chief Dan Glickman's replacement
- NCTA challenges FCC report
- The Case for Local Control of TV Deals
- Smoking still too common in movies, CDC says
- MPAA: Not All PG-13 Films Are Alike