Ratings Game

I’m watching an interesting documentary. This Film is Not Yet Rated shows how the MPAA’s movie rating board has some very inconsistent ways of rating movies. It is a crazy system. Think about it, large body counts from gunfights is fine, but large counts of bodies involved in sexual activity is not okay. Blowing people up is okay, but blowing people is not appropriate. Silly, isn’t it?

There are interviews with directors who have had problems with how their films were rated, and it is strange. The same sexual acts will get an R rating if they are between a man and a woman, but that act gets an NC-17 rating if it involves same-sex partners.  Even masturbation gets this treatment — a gay character masturbating is a problem, but not a straight character. There’s also a problem with scenes focusing on women orgasming. Jeez, would you say the ratings board is a little too uptight?

The movie did have an impact on the MPAA.  They announced that starting in March of 2007, it will change their policy and allow filmmakers to cite other film’s ratings as comparison. The MPAA will also provide information about the demographics of its board.


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