Hollywood’s ratings get revamped

By Jessica Chesko
February 8, 2007

Scott Beale/Laughing Squid

The release of a documentary that attacked the movie rating system forced the Motion Picture Association of America to recently rethink some aspects of its rating process.

The documentary, entitled “This film is not yet rated,” ambushed the rating system for its secretive nature and even outed many of its anonymous board members. The documentary, directed by Kirby Dick, revealed not only the names of senior board members but also the fact that many of them did not have children. Board members must be parents, according to the New York Times.

The MPAA has now decided to alter some of its policies. The first alteration is that the film raters will be removed once their children are grown up. It will also make public the identities of their three senior board members through a revamped web site. This new web site will also include the rules of the rating system, which were previously provided only upon request.

According to Yahoo News, a liaison will be appointed to communicate with filmmakers throughout their productions and serve as the go-to person for questions on ratings.

“I definitely agree that the new documentary will bring some much needed change to the ratings board, if they react the way they should,” said sophomore special education major Bridget Flynn.

The MPAA also wants to clarify the definitions of each rating so that parents will have a better understanding of the content of each movie. Last year, the MPAA began a program in which a weekly e-mail was sent to alert parents to new movies and their ratings. However, only about 2,000 people signed up for the service so advertisements are now to be placed in theaters, video stores, schools and on the radio.

These changes should be put into action in the near future and the MPAA is hopeful for their success.

Loquitur welcomes your comments on this story. Please send your comments to: Loquitur@googlegroups.com . The editors will review your points each week and make corrections if warranted.

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Jessica Chesko

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