The Motion Picture Association of America, otherwise known as the MPAA, has been facing few controversial issues as its rating system is viewed to be flawed one for the modern society. This issue gained momentum soon after the release of the documentary film, This Film Is Not…
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rating system should not be ruled out, it would be appropriate to follow a fair open system rather than conforming to the outdated societal norms and beliefs. Unless and otherwise a renovation is made to the system, the whole thing seems to be of no worth to the film industry and its audience.
Tracking back to the history of MPAA; in 1930, they crested the ‘Hays Code’ holding just two categories, ‘acceptable’ and ‘unacceptable’, which were later overhauled by the current 5-rating system in 1968, comprising of G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17 ratings. “For almost 40 years the US film industry was governed by the Motion Picture Production Code, which banned nudity, drug use, religious ridicule, disrespect for the law and other depictions in film that would have the effect of lowering society’s moral standards.” (Fieser, 2011). The system’s ultimate goal was to defend the artistic freedom of the filmmakers, at the same time, fulfilling the parent’s need to determine the film’s appropriateness for their children.
Recently, there have been claims that the MPAA is not fair and is too conservative in its ratings. It is also criticized of being arbitrary in its rating decisions, consequently affecting numerous filmmakers with its random sexually-obsessed and biased judgments. This issue is well-portrayed in This Film Is Not Yet Rated, as it exposes the reasons and rules of ratings behind the mysterious organization, its membership and its bias in rating the films. To top of that, the film also uncovers the entity’s secrecy, its specific functioning and its rules. According to the film, the board does not have any specific members or guidelines but adheres to the so-called norms of an outdated system, which has turned out to be a mess.
The entire concept of MPAA seems to be absurd in many cases. Normally, the NC-17 rating is regarded to have explicit sexual content, regardless of the scale of violence portrayed. What makes the issue harsher is that
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