Thursday, January 18, 2007
MPAA Gives A Facelift To Ratings Strategy
They don't really make any substantive changes to the ratings system that is such a farce and encourages violence while denigrating sex and intimacy. But the MPAA was shamed by a recent documentary into making a few modest changes. Their idea of transparency is to post online the rules they used to keep shrouded in secrecy for no reason. Also, the three top raters who have always been public -- why, their basic info will be posted online as well. And golly, if you just can't wait to find out what the rating will be for upcoming movies like "Spider-Man 3," the MPAA offers an absurdly unncessary email alert system that tells you the latest ratings. (I suppose the hundreds of milions of dollars spent on ads by the studios every year doesn't get the word out enough?) Most substantively, they will let filmmakers actually refer to other movies on appeal -- saying,hey you let "Taxi Driver" show this, why can't I?" But most board members will remain anonymous, they refuse to really clean up the requirements or fulfill their own standards for "parents" (one board member whose kids have grown up will retire), and the undue influence of religious figures on what should be a non-partisan secular process continues in the shadows. Finally, there's no reason to think they won't continue lapping up violence while being turned off by sex of any sort.