The MPAA, a US lobbying organization for the movie industry, maintains a rating system first implemented in 1968. This system, with its age based content classification using letter grades G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17 (formerly X), has become a cultural icon. But behind its simple façade is a censoring process kept entirely secret. Board members are anonymous; deliberations are private; standards are seemingly arbitrary.
This Film Is Not Yet Rated asks whether Hollywood movies and independent films are rated equally for comparable content; whether sexual content in gay-themed movies are given harsher ratings penalties than their heterosexual counterparts; whether it makes sense that extreme violence is given an R rating while sexuality is banished to the cutting room floor; whether Hollywood studios receive detailed directions as to how to change and NC-17 film into an R while independent film producers are left guessing; and finally, whether keeping the raters and the rating process secret leave the MPAA entirely unaccountable for its decisions.
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