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MPAA celebrates 50 years of cracking movie audiences – Destructoid

At least we can show the toilet now

The Motion Picture Association of America, or MPAA, introduced a rating system and a censorship board in 1968 as a way for the industry to self-regulate the content of its films. If you have any knowledge of the film industry, you know it’s hogwash. A board of 8 to 13 parents, the rating system is supposed to help educate moviegoers about the type of movie they are going to see. Regardless of the insane amount of power the board offers so few people, they can’t even do their jobs well, but that doesn’t mean the MPAA won’t smell their own farts when they get the chance. .

For its 50th anniversary, the MPAA released a strange report that is part history lesson, part assessment data, and part masturbatory sludge. Entitled “G is for Golden: The MPAA Film Ratings at 50”, the document traces the origin of the rating table and how it has evolved over the years, but it is actually only 46 pages of the organization. congratulating. I could curse on that silly flyer all day, but showing off is always better than telling, so the rest of this article will be a few ways the MPAA really “screwed up” the dog. (The previous sentence has been modified to maintain the PG-13 rating for this article.)

G rated cartoons

Throughout this glorified press release, the MPAA states that its primary purpose is to help parents decide which movies will be right for their children. This includes not only the letter notation, but also the descriptors, such as if there is alcohol consumption or “saucy humor” (thanks Wayne’s world). However, when evaluating animated movies, the movies that kids usually like to watch the most, they miss out on some crazy and messed up stuff. Chicken coop has a decapitated character offscreen and is rated G. Tarzan a Clayton hanged by vines, his swaying body visible in silhouette, and is rated G. The Hunchback of Notre Dame a Frollo sing his desire to rape Esmerelda, literally sent it to hell and is rated G. I have a legitimate suspicion that the reviewers did not watch these movies in full.

Any PG movie before 1984

PG, short for Parental Guidance, also had its own extremely problematic period. PG-13 did not exist until July 1, 1984, so any film that was not rated extreme enough for an R received a good PG rating. According to the MPAA, this means that there may be “profanity and depictions of violence, sensuality or brief nudity”, but nothing too serious. Yeah, the melting scene of The Raiders of the Lost Ark or the scene from the heart of the suite Cursed temple were only a little bit bloody, weren’t they? Even terrifying movies like Jaws and Gremlins, which the latter frightened a 6-year-old child, contracted a PG despite the intense violence of his time. The MPAA doesn’t even deserve brownie points for bringing in the PG-13 rating, as it only created it after parents reacted and movie god Steven Spielberg complained.

The death knell of NC-17

There was an X rating for very sexual and very messed up movies, but porn co-opted the rating, so the MPAA changed X to NC-17. Partly due to public perception and some theaters choosing to never show NC-17 films, receiving this rating means the film is almost guaranteed to make farthings in the United States. The economics issue isn’t even the most destructive part of NC-17, as the rating itself either causes the movies to change from their original cut (we’ll talk about that later) or people avoid it. completely. It means that people have not seen Eyes wide closed the way Kubrick wanted or experienced it Blue is the warmest color (despite its own controversies) and it’s a straightforward approach to lesbian sex in its true form. The rating board is not to blame for any studios, theaters, or audiences who give NC-17 a cold shoulder, but the rating has been around since 1990 and the board still has failed to resolve issues and issues. misconceptions related to it.

Disaster films

Now I admit this one is a handy fruit, but it’s really weird how the board gets nervous about somebody’s handy fruit but is okay with it. mass violence. They even give a pitiful non-response in their brochure to remedy the disparity. The ultimate confirmation of this supremely messed up fact appears in disaster movies where sometimes millions of people die. The one I remember the most is Two days later. Even in the trailer, you see a man about to be run over to death by a car and hundreds of people swept away by a giant tsunami. It’s totally fine for the review board to give it a PG-13, because unlike The King’s Speech Where Philomena, he only dropped the F-bomb once. F means fuck by the way, as in fuck your arbitrary rules, MPAA.

Desiccant films R

This last point is similar to the NC-17 problem, but on a much larger scale that affects regular moviegoers. Despite the fact that over 57% of all MPAA rated movies were rated R (somewhat skewed by the lack of a PG-13 rating from the start), many studios are aiming for the PG-13 sweet spot so that parents and children can buy tickets. This means the gore will be digitally removed from a pinball machine Die hard movie and force Canadian treasure Ryan Reynolds to fight tooth and nail for dead Pool be rated R. Again, the rating doesn’t prevent anyone from seeing a movie (cinemas are the ones that require ID for R movies), but the massive amount of clearly demonstrated cultural power the board holds affects the way the films are made, cut and recut. I’m not trying to complain about censorship or bigger issues with the studio system; I’m just saying it really sucks that we can’t see the movies the way the people who made them want you to see them.

I’m not against a scorecard despite all of this. It’s true that parents have much more pressing issues than worrying about whether Cinderella is going to slit her step-sisters’ throats with a broken glass slipper, and the right information could help them make the decisions they think about. be good to their children. Unfortunately, the MPAA doesn’t and may even misinform parents about the content of movies, all because some North Dakota fathers are afraid of things like female sexuality. A saving grace about the board for 50 years is that parents have now grown up on their own, likely understanding its biases and flaws. Except for the Red Band trailers. This shit is great!


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