Wednesday, July 25, 2012

7.25.12 Bee-otch of the Day: Motion Picture Association of America

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Name: Motion Picture Association of American
Age: 90
Occupation: the people who give us film ratings
Last Seen: Washington, DC
Bee-otched For: choosing war over piece


Of course, in the aftermath of last weekend's movie theatre disaster in Aurora, CO, there's that little thing called The Blame Game.

If one can remember Columbine, everybody was pointing fingers; one went to Marilyn Manson (although the shooters, Kyle Harris and Dylan Klebold were not fans of his), another went to the manufacturers of the video game Doom, the NRA and just about everything under the sun.

Now, the suspect is a 24-year-old male obsessed with Batman, especially The Joker. How a smart kid who grew up in a well-to-do family went from lovable to flat-out sick will always be beyond our heads. True, we can blame the NRA again, whatever type of music he listened to or even Batman himself, but one thing's for sure: man, do we live in a violent society.

For years, people have blamed movies and television for being too violent, and it's painfully true. One reason is because the attitude of the Motion Picture Association of America, or the MPAA. Is it me, or is just about every other movie that comes out in the Summer not just loaded with violence, but also rated PG-13? Yep! Since most theatres allow those under 13 into PG-13 flicks, kids are exposed to a healthy dose of shootings, blood and gore.

But yet, us adults don't get a whole lot of sex from the silver screen.

Several years ago, filmmaker Kirby Dick made a great movie called This Film is Not Yet Rated which exposed the MPAA as an organization that's cool with violence over sex and even profanity. The documentary interviewed directors, actors and producers on how the organization acts and how vague they can be when it comes to preventing the dreaded NC-17 rating.

Of course, the MPAA came up with their ratings system in 1968. Prior to that, they forced studios and producers to follow their barbaric Hays Code which barred all profanity and reduced all sex scenes to three-second kisses and twin beds. However, violence was OK with its usual shootings, swashbuckling pirate battles and the slapstick of The Three Stooges. But with television and the break-up of the studio system in the 1950's, plus the fact that the Supreme Court ruled that movies were protected by the First Amendment in 1952, the Hays Code became loosened. MPAA president Jack Valenti overhauled the system in 1968 with a ratings code, similar to the ratings codes used in other countries since the beginning of the Hays Code in the early 1930's.

There have been a few changes over the years to the system; the M rating eventually became PG and PG-13 was added in 1984 because too many films fell between a PG and an R. However, one of the biggest controversies involved the X rating; when Deep Throat and other hardcore films became box office successes in the 1970's, many producers of films that fell into the X rating became infuriated since the public thought they were porn. The MPAA remedied this by replacing the X rating in 1990 with NC-17.

Very few films have been rated NC-17 since its introduction in 1990; part of it's due to the fact that many big theatre chains refuse to show them, and they're profit killers. Most films that have been given this rating are art house films, although one film, Showgirls had a big budget, but bombed thanks to its rating and horrid reviews.

One person who was interviewed in This Film is Not Yet Rated was Maria Bello, who talked about her 2003 film The Cooler. The film was thisclose to getting an NC-17 rating. Why? Simple: for only a few brief seconds during a sex scene, her vagina was exposed. That's right! A little vajayjay can go the wrong way for the MPAA (and no, that didn't mean to rhyme). Sadly, The Cooler is not the only film to get an NC-17 threat over pussy or even sex for that matter. Remember Stanley Kubrick's final flick, Eyes Wide Shut? It was also threatened with NC-17 action, too because of an orgy scene that featured crotch thrusting. So, Warner Bros. decided to remedy the situation by inserting doubles to stand around the horny couple.

Even one of the stars of the new Batman movie, Anne Hathaway, is a prime example of the MPAA's barbaric rules. She showed tits and ass in her 2010 film Love and Other Drugsbut no twat. I'll betcha that she didn't mind showing it, but the MPAA would have thought otherwise. Thankfully, she did show her you-know-what in One Day... Kinda.

Look. Guns kill people, but vaginas don't. Yeah, yeah, yeah, there's AIDS, but like guns, people can enjoy the loving embrace of a coochy with responsibility. True, a six-year-old shouldn't be exposed to a film with lots of sex, but guess what? THE SAME GOES TO THE NEW BATMAN MOVIE! DUH! Just because a movie's PG-13 doesn't mean bring the kids. It means parental discretion is advised. PERIOD.

It's sad that because of the MPAA's barbaric rules towards sex, filmmakers are scared to show skin. Yet, plotless piles of special effects and violence is made and released all the time. To hell if six-year-olds see the movie, the studio's making the big bucks!

Look, I'm not saying that Hollywood needs to stop making violent movies. Hell, I plan to see The Dark Knight Rises in a few weeks. All I'm saying is that the MPAA needs to change their minds about sex vs. violence. Like I said, guns kill, public hair doesn't.

MPAA: worrying about peanuts over elephants since 1922.

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