MPAA Gives 'It's Complicated' An R Rating Because It Shows Pot Might Make You Giggle
from the what-are-they-smoking? dept
Via That Kevin Smith (who has had his own share of run ins with the MPAA over bizarre ratings) comes the story of how the MPAA decided the romantic comedy It’s Complicated deserved an “R” rating, because it has one scene that involves two characters (played by Steve Martin and Meryl Streep) who smoke marijuana… and then giggle. Specifically, the MPAA appears to be upset that there are “no negative consequences” to the two characters smoking pot.
Now, I’ve never smoked marijuana (or ingested it in other forms either), but I’m at a loss to see how this makes something deserving of an R rating. The NY Times article quotes someone from the Parents Television Council — the group famous for bombarding the FCC with bogus indecency complaints — who says “The last I checked, smoking pot was still illegal, illicit behavior.” Indeed. But, then again, so is blowing up Los Angeles, and “last I checked,” the movie 2012 got a PG-13 rating.
The larger point, of course, is just how incredibly out of touch the MPAA is beyond just its laughable ratings system. This is a group that’s still trying to break your TV because it can’t figure out how to release movies on TV in a reasonable amount of time without doing so (even though its own studios have figured it out). This is the same group that argues that blames tech companies for its own inability to recognize and embrace what technology allows. This is the same group that insists that piracy is “killing” the movie industry as the industry scores yet another box office record. This is the same group that insists that ACTA is necessary, but won’t share what its own lobbyists helped write.
The NY Times article admits that the decision to rate this particular movie “R” is more of a political move from an organization that doesn’t want to be attacked during the next elections — and even that should be troubling. This is an organization that will do amazingly dumb things just to stay in the good graces of our politicians, so that it can continue to push through protectionist laws. One simple rating may not seem like a huge deal (and, by itself, it is not), but it’s yet another sign in how out of touch the MPAA really is, and how its actions are entirely about protecting its political power and helping its members get favors from the government, rather than anything else.