Kevin Smith vs. MPAA

by Paul William Tenny

Kevin Smith
Click image for huge Kevin Smith.
Kevin Smith has been in a running firefight with the MPAA over his new comedy, Zack & Miri Make A Porno. Despite what you may think given the title, Smith doesn't make sexually explicit movies -- at least not visually -- so we're not really talking about another Showgirls here. If you're familiar with his films then you know what I'm talking about. The MPAA gave Smith an NC-17 rating which he has been fighting for a number of weeks now. I've written about this case specifically and MPAA fascism in general before, so you may be familiar with how the system works.
You send a print to a secret, anonymous ratings board which rates the film based on their own personal moral standards which are unusually biased against sex while ignoring terribly graphic instances of physical violence. If you've ever seen Hostel (either of them) or The Hills Have Eyes, you'll know that there are literally no acts of physical violence that the MPAA won't put its stamp of approval on. When it comes to sex, there is documented proof that straight sex scenes that get an R rating will get NC-17 if they are gay scenes. Even salty conversations will trigger hysterical fits and childhood regression.

It's exceptionally rare then to win an appeals process since we now know factually that the also secret appeals board is made up essentially of theater owners, film buyers, and studio executives. Smith won his appeal which is like winning the lotto, and got his NC-17 knocked down to an R without having to lose a difficult scene altogether.

Kevin may not be all that upset over this, but I personally think it's quite sickening and arbitrary. The MPAA needs to be scrapped, in my humble opinion, or at the very least the rating system moved to a neutral organization that has no vested interest in a given outcome either way.
in Film


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Wow, never heard about this. Glad to hear that he won, but wow, that's crazy stuff.

You have any sort of link to the documented proof of the gay/NC-17 claim? Seems like it would be an interesting read.
Kind of amazing the lack of information about how completely AWFUL the MPAA is as a prominent American institution that inflicts the it's scared sexual biases and violence blindness on film in the USA.

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