Another dagger has been heatedly thrown the way of the MPAA, and honestly? We couldn’t be happier about it. For years the imposed rating system has been screwing with the horror genre, editing our flicks as other more violent big studio/budget films get by unscathed.
In case you’re unaware, there’s been a lot of hoopla recently regarding the Ryan Gosling-Michelle Williams marital drama Blue Valentine. The ratings board gave the film an NC-17 rating because of an oral sex scene between the two stars. As you know, once a film gets the dreaded NC-17, it basically lands in arthouse theatres dead on arrival with little chance of finding an audience and an even smaller chance of making any money as you’re not allowed to advertise it in newspapers or on television.
Once the Weinsteins, the film’s distributor, pressured the ratings board, it folded and granted the movie an R rating. And the fires began to finally start raging!
This decision has led to the PTC: Parents Television Council to fire off the following statement to the MPAA:
In response to the Motion Picture Association of America’s vote to downgrade Blue Valentine to an “R” rating, Parents Television Council President Tim Winter issued the following statement:
“The inherent flaws of the MPAA ratings system were put on full-frontal display this week with Blue Valentine. Ostensibly because the producers of the film would not earn as much money at the box office with an accurate rating, the MPAA buckled under intense pressure and lowered the age rating of the film.
“The new rating may be correct or it may be incorrect. We don’t know because we haven’t screened the film. What we do know is this: the entire integrity and legitimacy of the MPAA ratings system has been compromised. There is no transparency; there is no consistency; and there is no accountability – unless you are a wealthy producer who can afford to hire the biggest legal guns in the nation and wage a massive PR campaign.
“As parents, how can we appeal a movie rating if it is inaccurately lower than it should be? The answer is that we can’t.
“The Weinstein Co.’s assertion that graphic violence unfairly receives a lower age rating than sex or profanity can be easily – and properly – rectified by placing a higher rating for films with graphic violence. Instead the reverse has happened, and the lowering of this film’s rating throws the baby out with the bathwater.
The entire point of the film ratings system is to protect children and guide parents as they make informed choices for their families. Clearly, the motion picture industry’s system has failed at that task.”
Amen. Hey, if it takes a mainstream movie to finally shed some light on what a sham the ratings system is, then so be it. Here at Dread Central we have hope for a world in which tongue-in-cheek movies involving swamp ghosts who carry mythical wireless belt sanders are not treated the same way that hardcore pornography is.
Got news? Click here to submit it!
Let ’em have it in the comments section below.