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The Parents Television Council Fires Back at the MPAA





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.

The Parents Television Council Fires Back at the MPAA

- Uncle Creepy

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DavidFullam's picture

Curse Jack Valenti's soul for saying that NC-17 took the place of the X rating. Saying that basically intimated that the NC-17 was porn. Where is Valenti buried? I wish to shit on his grave.


Submitted by DavidFullam on Fri, 12/10/2010 - 2:40pm.
Terminal's picture

It was good to see "Blue Valentine" get an R rating over the dreaded NC-17 rating but I don't see how this deals with horror in any way or form beyond the vague mention of horror films. The MPAA fold to big studios and execs and pick on the little guy, that's how it's always been, that's how it will always be. There will never be a change. "Blue Valentine" is a romance drama and after some research on IMDB is not even leaning toward being a suspense thriller, so it's an irrelevant story in the realm of horror. And big studios changing the MPAA's mind on one movie doesn't signal a changing of the tides.

Bullet point: I question the purpose of this article, for those not keeping up.

K bye.
----------
"We are bad guys. That means we've got more to do other than bullying companies. It's fun to lead a bad man's life."


Submitted by Terminal on Fri, 12/10/2010 - 4:01am.

Dude,

If the MPAA comes under enough fire from large groups and/or corporations, changes may result. If the MPAA is dethroned then more independent horror films will see the light of day due to a fair rating system.

Bullet point: You could have more horror films on the big screen to bitch about, for those not keeping up.

K bye.


Submitted by Billz on Fri, 12/10/2010 - 3:57pm.
moderator I don't know, dude. My point
Steve Barton's picture

I don't know, dude. My point seems pretty clear. Did you miss the last paragraph? This isn't even about Blue Valentine per se. It's about the MPAA (you know, horror's best friend) being recognized finally for what they are! Horror filmmakers have been making the same statements as the PTC for years. It's good to see someone other than us (who by and large are always ignored because for some reason horror is treated like the red-headed step child of the film industry) step up to the plate and grill them for once.

If you fail to see how the MPAA's ridiculous double standards being publicly called into question relates to the horror genre, then I got nothin' for ya, man.


Submitted by Steve Barton on Fri, 12/10/2010 - 4:10am.
Vanvance1's picture

The PTC are probably more dangerous to horror than the MPAA. If they had their way every horror film would likely be NC17.

I regard the inability of producers to market NC17 films as a vile form of censorship. They created a rating then made damn sure nobody would ever use it.

I'd like to see the MPAA and the PTC both go down in flames.


Submitted by Vanvance1 on Fri, 12/10/2010 - 5:53am.
moderator Oh believe me, I'm not cheer
Steve Barton's picture

Oh believe me, I'm not cheer leading them either. It's kind of like watching two bullies duke it out. Though I must admit the sentence:

"“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"

Makes a ton of sense. I mean, why not?


Submitted by Steve Barton on Fri, 12/10/2010 - 5:56am.

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