MPAA's New Rating System: Would Casablanca Be Smoked Out Of A PG Rating?

from the it's-a-no-no dept

Remember earlier this year when the MPAA agreed to make some small changes to its movie rating system that had come under a fair amount of criticism for being arbitrary and secretive? Apparently, a part of that shift will be to consider bad habits like smoking a reason to rate a movie for adults only. This has some wondering if classic movies, like Casablanca, would be much more strictly rated today. Luckily, the MPAA won’t be re-rating old movies, but at least we can all rest easier knowing that no kids will ever see anyone smoking thanks to this new rating system. After all, if they can’t see it in movies, I’m sure they’ll never see anyone smoking. Also, I’m sure that the fact that smoking is only allowed in R-rated movies won’t make kids think its even cooler and more rebellious than before…

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Comments on “MPAA's New Rating System: Would Casablanca Be Smoked Out Of A PG Rating?”

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KB (user link) says:

Re: ignorance

“When are parents going to realize that forceful ignorance is not a substitute for actually raising children?”

We do realize this you ****ing tool. But we can only parent when our kids are at home. If you think what we say to our kids counts when you’re being pressured at school, you’re an even bigger idiot that you sound.

The more visibility can be reduced, the fewer kids will start smoking. This is not a theory it’s a proven strategy, borne out by the numbers since the big crack-down on cigarette advertising began about 10 years ago.


Mika says:

Re: Re: ignorance

If what you say to your kids doesn’t count when they are at school then you are a failure as a parent. The whole point of being a parent is to teach your child to discern right from wrong when you’re not with them. “My child is so behaved when I’m holding his hand” Really? Well guess what. You will not be holding their hand all the time, and if “Your parents won’t find out” is enough to make your child give into pressure then you are a failure.


Mika is an idiot says:

Re: Re: Re: ignorance


How can a more extgensive rating system be a bad thing? You say I am supposed to teach my child to discern right from wrong when you give my child condoms in school and tell them how to have sex? You allow my daughter to go to the doctor at 13 and have an abortion without my knowledge. You allow her to buy birth control pills without my permission. You don’t tell me exactly what is in that movie I am allowing her to see. lord knows I can’t go to every movie she wants to see before I let her go. You tell her drugs are ok and that it is this screwed up society that is wrong and lieing. You preach to her that kids have sex and it is ok. You tell me I can’t spank my kid because it is child abuse. And when my kid doesn’t exactly grow up the way I or society wants you blame me. You are an idiot. Case closed.

jLl says:

Re: Re: Re:2 ignorance

> You don’t tell me exactly what is in that movie I am allowing her to see. lord knows I can’t go to every movie she wants to see before I let her go.

Here’s the big point that you’re missing…

If you need to accompany your child to every movie, to make sure they understand what content shouldn’t be replicated, then you have failed as a parent. Your kids shouldn’t need you holding their hands until their 18, when you barely, reluctantly, grudgingly, and finally let them go. And, chances are, THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO, EITHER.

No one’s saying that sex and drugs are good for kids. Everyone’s saying we know it happens and we’d rather promote whatever optimistic side exists (e.g., condoms and birth control) rather than try to fight it (which, when mixed with hormones, almost always adds to the rebelion).

> when you give my child condoms in school and tell them how to have sex

Seriously…ask the principal, of your child’s school, if you can sit in on the next “Sex Ed” course. They’re not implying that “Life is an orgy; you get stoned, trip out, and have kinky sex.”

Obviously exaggerated. But, it’s a sad fact that your entire paragraph is:
it’s not my fault; everyone else is ****ing up my child.

Yeah, it is your fault. You are responsible for raising your children (or child) in a manner where they can survive on their own.

Trying to hide sex, drugs, and violence from them — which are abundant aspects of this “beautiful” world we exist in — does NOT prepare them for a life “outside the nest.”

Thus, my original statement that “forceful ignorance” is not a substitute. Grow a backbone and actually explain each issue to them. Word your statements like an essay: evaluating both pros and cons, then proving which is better AND WHY!! Don’t try using a “just because” argument (i.e., “just say no,” as another commenter referenced); those won’t get you anywhere.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 ignorance

You amuse me. I say “Be a better parent” and then you say “But the hole world is out there!” What the hell do you think your getting your kids ready for? Guess what, if you don’t teach your children about the world then chances are someone else will do it for you. When entire 6th grade classes have caught syphilis I’d say schools are smart to pass out condoms. Although I think a parent must be involved in any medical procedure that there child under goes, what the hell is your 13 year old daughter getting an abortion in the first place for? And, you should be involved enough in her life to KNOW why she’d be getting birth control in the first place. You’re forcing so many word down my throat with that “drugs are ok” line I’m gonna throw up. As I all ready said, you should have already told her about sex first. Spanking a child is not abuse. Beating a child is. But there are better control methods out there. for example, griping the tricep will force a child to stand next to you and behave, less they hurt them self’s. But yes, you are right when you say I blame you when your child grows up in such a way that they don’t conform to what is moral, ethical, and healthy. Who else is there to blame? I mean after all, it was YOUR job.

Jack Sombra says:

Re: Re: ignorance

“The more visibility can be reduced, the fewer kids will start smoking. This is not a theory it’s a proven strategy, borne out by the numbers since the big crack-down on cigarette advertising began about 10 years ago.

Interesting “proven strategy” you have there
Let’s compare it to an even stricter version of the strategy
Zero advertising
Minimal or zero actual demonstrations of use in entertainment (and if it is shown generally in a negative light)
Declaring it illegal with possible (and lengthy) prisons terms for both users and sellers

Soooo…how come consumption of illegal drugs has barely altered (hell for many types gone up) over the last 20 years?

Hell in the UK they have had ten times stricter regulations on tobacco advertising for years now and guess what? Youth smoking is going UP while adult smoking is going down.

Why? Because for kids making something seem BAD is an attraction

It’s all very well to stick your fingers in your kids ears and to cover their eyes whenever the world shows them something you don’t want them see but all it does is virtually guarantee that the minute they are out of your sight that they will reach for what you have marked “forbidden”, it’s plain human nature.

Unless you have a particularly stupid child on your hands you are 100 times better off exposing them to the real world and then actually talking to them about it, and I mean talk in an unbiased, level headed way going over the pros and cons, not just lecturing on the evils of “whatever”

But’s thats the problem with todays parents, it’s too much effort and work to actually talk to their kids as if they were young adults in need of all the facts, lot simpler to tell them “just say no” after feeding them only one side of the story, so of course as soon as their kids find out they only have been only told part of the truth (aka lied to) they ignore everything else the parent said on the matter.

Urza says:

Re: Re: ignorance

Or, you just had bad parents. Trust me. I’m still only 16, I still count as a child, and I have first-hand experience with this. Sure, I do plenty of bad things, what kid doesn’t, but there’s definitely a major problem with parents just not caring. Hell, I know some parents that just buy their kids drugs. There are a hell of a lot of kids who are SERIOUS assholes simply because their parents don’t give a shit. And it pisses me off, because then the schools and government in general trys to take over for them, and ends up punishing all of us for it.

ehrichweiss says:

Re: ignorance

Forceful ignorance? How does knowing that a movie contains scenes that “glorify” smoking make one ignorant?

Actually there is a good chance that *I* am one of the parents responsible for them rating this stuff differently. I take the MovieMuse surveys to throw off their stats about downloading, etc. but this one was perfect since it changes how they look at ratings.

I’m fine with my kids seeing nudity and SOME mild sexual content but violence, smoking and hard drug use is not something I want them to see yet and if my input caused them to rank smoking as something worthy of an R-Rating then I’m fine with that.

You(and you too Mike) forget that responsible parenting also involves knowing what your children are watching, and if you know that modern movies are going to have R-ratings for cigarettes then at least I will know not to let them watch such movies until they reach the age.

I don’t rely on the rating to tell me what TYPE of content a movie has but adding “smoking” as a criteria gives me something more to watch for instead of less stuff to watch for.

Why in hell would you complain because you get more choice in knowing what you want your kids to watch?

P.S. Mike, what the hell is your point about R-ratings, rebellion and smoking? I only saw rape in R-rated movies but never felt the urge to try it just because it was in a damn movie. Kids are naive, not stupid. They bow due to peer pressure, not seeing shit in a movie.

Matt Bennett says:

You’re also totally ignoring the fact that the new rules are supposed to take historical context into account. I.e. a movie set int he 50’2 that has smoking would get rated differently than a modern movie that has smoking, simply because smoking was so much more prevalent.

That said, the new rules are just more assinine PC preaching, and it pisses me off.

Sanguine Dream says:

Well then...

I know the MPAA can’t rerate existing copies of Casablanca but what about on its __th anniversary when a new DVD edition is released?

And I totally agree with comments 1 and 2. I would also like to add this is a smokescreen thrown up to allow them to have their secret and arbitrary methods remain that way. In a few years when this new rating way is in affect and is effectivly forgotten don’t be surprised if they don’t simply ignore these new rules.

Witty Nickname says:

Longest Day

Look at “Longest Day” (IMHO one of the greatest WWII movies ever) It is rated ‘G’ because it was made before movie ratings, if you bought it today, it still reads rated ‘G’.

Just so you know it is about D-Day, although not overly graphic there are grandes thrown, people shot and many killed. They won’t rerate the new DVD versions of the old movie.

Anonymous Coward says:

Why does it really matter since the Movie industry says that their viewer ship is down by 70,80,90% and their profits are dictating these farce numbers anyway. According to them, noone is going to the movies anyway, so who does it affect, or why does it really matter anyway? Down not only with the rating system, but why not down with the MPAA to begin with. Hopefully they take the RIAA with them. Oh, and yes, a PG-13 movie make more money because it almost automatically will draw more teens to view it because they might see more garbage, as if there isn’t enough of it around, already.

rEdEyEz says:

Second-lung smoke kills Liberal's brain cells

“Clearly, smoking is increasingly an unacceptable behavior in our society,” Dan Glickman, chairman of the motion picture association, said in a statement. “There is broad awareness of smoking as a unique public health concern due to nicotine’s highly addictive nature, and no parent wants their child to take up the habit.”

The MPAA is now in the business of regulating social behavior?

…Thanks to the MPAA I’ve modified my behavior to no longer include: long lines, overpriced tickets, overpriced snacks, substandard seating, audience interruptions, wasting 2 hours watching shitty, substandard content.

BTW, home theaters are a vast improvement of “the movie-going experience,” especially when friends are generous enough to loan out content from their personal libraries for free!!!!

Thanks guys, by-the-way, anyone gotta smoke I can bum?

James Stevens (profile) says:


People see smoking all the time anyway. Some adults smoke in some public places. Some adults smoke in private places. Kids are bound to see people smoking.

I wonder why they can’t understand that in order to help prevent smoking, you actually have to teach your kids and inform them so they can make their own educated and unbiased decision when they become adults.

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