MUBI brings you a great new film every day.  Start your 7-day free trial today!
All Topics  » Bully Topics  »

weinstein in a row with the mpaa

ruby stevens

about 2 years ago

harvey weinstein is threatening to boycott the mpaa. more here and here.

The National Association of Theater Owners is now threatening to give all Weinstein Company films an automatic NC-17 rating in future.

kind of ironic: bullies vs bullies over bully :) to be clear, weinstein is threatening to withdraw from the mpaa over the R rating of this film and films not rated by the mpaa are treated as NC-17 by most theaters. the film drew an R rating for language, thus won’t be seen by most of its target audience. 75,000 people signed a petition seeking to get this rating overturned

any thoughts on this?

Ben.

about 2 years ago

Yes! The MPAA needs to be kicked to the perpetual curb. Any moron who things something as important as this cannot be given special accordance in this case is a fucking moron.

The MPAA will hopefully resent because many, many people are angry about this.

Santino

about 2 years ago

So has there been a ruling on the appeal? Last I heard they were appealing the decision? The article doesn’t mention anything about the MPAA making a ruling yet. Harvey won last time he appealed (with Blue Valentine) so I have every reason to believe there is a possibility the MPAA could overturn the R rating.

I have a lot of disdain with Weinstein but he’s right on this issue and he’s a good guy to have in your corner. Even if the MPAA sticks with the R rating, it could potentially be another win in making the MPAA irrelevant. Searchlight essentially gave them the finger when they released Shame and if the studios do more of this, they might put pressure on the exhibitors to disregard the MPAA (there is no law stating theaters can’t screen films that are Not Rated or are rated NC-17. And I believe in the case of Shame, Cinemark was the only chain that refused to show it).

ruby stevens

about 2 years ago

hey this might be fitting for jazz’s topic on ‘cinema as a force for social good’ :)

apparently lost it’s appeal already.

Rock and Bull

about 2 years ago

Eh, the film was rated R for language, and I’m sure that the Weinstein Company knows the MPAA rule on swearing in films. I believe it is more than two uses of ‘fuck’ and it’s R. They shouldn’t get mad that the MPAA is being consistent with their normal procedures just because it’s inconvenient for the audience they are trying to reach. If they really cared they would bleep out the ‘fucks’. I’m not defending the MPAA at all, just pointing out that The Weinstein Company is just doing this for publicity.

Santino

about 2 years ago

Ok, I just saw in that third article that the MPAA has upheld their intial ruling. So yeah, I think Weinstein should do whatever they need to do.

The idea that NATO will give Weinstein films an NC-17 rating is silly. NATO doesn’t have anything to do with ratings. They’re not the MPAA. What they’re saying is that they’ll boycott all Weinstein films and refuse to show them? How petty.

ruby stevens

about 2 years ago

petty indeed. they do realize this is bullying? lol

@r&b- u could be right about that publicity angle. ironically, this will probably make kids want to see the film more

i believe schools could show the film as long as students had permission to watch from their parents in many school systems, if they were set on it?

Rock and Bull

about 2 years ago

Though this is an unfortunate film to receive this rating because in most cases kids will see R rated films if they want to. It’s ridiculously easy to sneak into a film. However I don’t see most kids sneaking into this but rather going with their parents or school. So I do hope this is resolved somehow.

Santino

about 2 years ago

The language “guideline” that the MPAA uses is ridiculous. Extreme violence gets a PG-13 but three fucks in context gets an R? Kirby Dick laid out the ridiculousness of the MPAA years ago so this is not news to anyone. But there needs to be a catalyst to change anything. Hopefully this will be it.

ruby stevens

about 2 years ago
^ that would be great ^ that was my first thought and why i posted here

Rock and Bull

about 2 years ago

Santino: Oh yes the MPAA guidelines are really ridiculous. I’m just not quite sure of the the Weinstein’s motives here.

Santino

about 2 years ago

I don’t really care what their motives are. What’s is wrong is wrong and this is clearly wrong. This happened two years ago with Blue Valentine and the Weinstein’s won. If I’m going to question anyone, I’d question whether the MPAA is just insecure into feeling they’re being pushed around the Weinsteins and are using this as an example of who really is in charge.

Like I said, petty petty petty (and not the Tom variety).

Ben.

about 2 years ago

I’ve signed the petition, which may very well reach 150,000.

ruby stevens

about 2 years ago

here’s that petition for those who want to sign

Jazzalo​ha

about 2 years ago

R&B said, Eh, the film was rated R for language, and I’m sure that the Weinstein Company knows the MPAA rule on swearing in films. I believe it is more than two uses of ‘fuck’ and it’s R.

I’ve heard that the MPAA has some strange rules and inconsistent application of them, and this sounds like a pretty good example of that. It makes me wonder about the whole point of the ratings. Doesn’t an “R” rating signify that children under 17 can’t see the movie, without a parent? If that’s true, then that would seem to mean that the MPAA believes that a teenager shouldn’t hear two “fucks” in a film? (Or does presence of more than one “fuck” generally indicate other inappropriate language/behavior/scenes, etc. in the film?)

I don’t know if I should start another thread, but do people believe there films should be rated? Why or why not?

Here’s another question/comment. My understanding is that Weinstein is fighting this ruling because the difference between an R rating and an NC-17 one comes down to money—i.e., less people will see an NC-17 film. Is that right? If the ratings actually affect profits, then that’s going to make the whole ratings process very tricky. (I would think some truly indendepent entity would have to do the ratings.)

ruby stevens

about 2 years ago

weinstein wants a PG-13 rating. kids hear these words at school every day, if not at home. no doubt, publicity is a factor. jazz, have u seen this film is not yet rated? it’s streaming on netflix. the mpaa is a joke

Santino

about 2 years ago

@ Jazz – Ruby is right. The film got an R rating and Weinstein wants it lowered to PG-13 because if it’s rated R, it won’t be shown in schools (presumably schools don’t show R rated films?) and this is a film that should be shown in schools.

It might have to do with money but they make a very compelling case that it’s also about getting the movie seen to the people who need to see it the most.

Jazzalo​ha

about 2 years ago

I haven’t seen The Film Is Not Yet Rated, but I’ve heard bad things about the MPAA. Just to be clear, I’m not defending the organization, as I know very little about it.

Also, I haven’t read the articles or know little about the film, so I don’t have any position on whether it should be shown in schools or not. But I can say that I do think there are films that have violence, profanity, etc. that would be appropriate for showing at schools. There’s a lot of profanity in The Breakfast Club, for example, but I think that would be a great film to be shown and discussed for high school students.

Santino

about 2 years ago

^Jazz – You should watch This Film In Not Yet Rated ASAP. It’s a bit dated but it’s highly informative and actually pretty funny. Kirby Dick takes a pretty dry subject and makes it relatively entertaining.

Prewitt

about 2 years ago

I find the ratings system employed b the MPAA ridiculous and archaic and inconsistent. I’ve seen PG-13 films that had worse content than R rated films….ratings don’t influence my decision to see a film one bit….but I do have some friends who get uncomfortable with certain content in a film (one of them can’t stomach any rape scenes) so I would still want a way to research the content of a film.

@ Jazz:

Good point about The Breakfast Club. That would be a great film to show in school and like Ruby said above…..schools usually require parents to sign permission slips for the viewing of films at school that may have adult content…..so the parents would still have the ultimate say…..and lord knows that teenagers are watching all kinds of crap…heck…their video games are more unsettling than most of the films our there today.

Monsieu​r Arkadin

about 2 years ago

The ratings are completely arbitrary. Barbershop has six “fucks” and is PG-13.
Shame was NC-17, perhaps validly, due to shots of graphic sex including Anilingus. However, “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” had anilingus and graphic sex. The only difference is that all the sex in “Shame” was consensual. Rape is more appropriate that consenting sex to them. Sounds like a moral authority to me!

Santino

about 2 years ago

I have no problem with the MPAA giving warnings as to the content of the film. If they want to list that a film has violence, graphic sex, nudity, harsh language, that’s cool. In fact, making the warnings specific is probably much more effective. But ditch the arbitrary, catch-all “rating”. I think just saying the film has this, this, and this is enough for a parent to decide whether they want their kid watching it.

I think a lot of parents do that anyway. “Oh it’s rated R? Ok, but why? For what kind of content?”

tomas.roges

about 2 years ago

For what kind of content?

Adult content. Heehee.

Jazzalo​ha

about 2 years ago

@Grimes

I’ve seen PG-13 films that had worse content than R rated films….

Yep.

….but I do have some friends who get uncomfortable with certain content in a film (one of them can’t stomach any rape scenes) so I would still want a way to research the content of a film.

Here’s a genuine question: do we need ratings? I mean, currently you can get a little more details about the ratings (e.g., graphic violence, adult situations, etc.). Suppose took away the ratings and had these short descriptions? The most compelling reason for the ratings (at least off the top of my head) is that they quickly communicate to people making decisions about seeing a film. But I don’t if this is such a strong reason for keeping ratings. If you’re unsure about a film, you’re probably going to read a bit about the film anyway. On the other hand, the ratings do almost instantly give you a ballpark idea of the nature of the film. I don’t know, what do others thing about this?

(Oh, I just read Santino’s post, and he basically touched on similar issues—but I’m just going to leave this since I already typed it out. ;)

Re: The Breakfast Club

Most high school kids wouldn’t be shocked by the language, so there’s no harm at all, imo. Plus, if could lead to some really good discussions.

DownByL​aw

about 2 years ago

Well the problem with ratings is not the idea of rating so much as this is an institutionalized monopoly that is used to dictate what gets shown where. We would be much better off if the MPAA disbanded. Anybody who wanted to offer up guidance or their own “ratings” could do so and post it on the internet for free. Distributing information doesn’t cost anything anymore, so the MPAA is an ugly relic. Without it, theaters, schools, and whoever else, could make up their own minds about what to screen and parents with concerns could easily find out about the content and (try) to keep their kids away from it.

I do think it is very weird that anybody thinks you can “protect” kids from language they consider normal and use all the time.

Dzimas

about 2 years ago

Reminds me of the flap over Larry Clark’s Kids some years ago, which depicted alcohol, drugs, sex and the spread of AIDS at the junior high school level. Most parents, it seems, wanted to turn a blind eye to it. This film got served up with an NC-17 rating. It is explicit, but I thought necessarily so. Seems to me many parents and a lot of politicians simply choose to ignore these such issues. However, the controversy over Bully should draw more attention to bullying, which is a major problem that needs to be more fully addressed.

Nathan M...

about 2 years ago

Here’s my suggestion to the Weinstiens if they want their film shown in schools, but can’t seem to avoid that R from the MPAA.

Release the film theatrically with the R or unrated. With a movie like this it won’t matter that much. Then, when you release it on video, provide public schools with an alternate version that bleeps out any offended words. If they are so concerned for the public good, then they can find a way to circumnavigate the rating.

Hell, if you really don’t want that R, and your movie is only crossing the line by one “fuck”, then why not just bleep the word? Will that bleep really destroy the integrity of the movie?

Look, I know people don’t like the MPAA. They’re inconsistent in their rulings and irrelevant to the type of filmgoer that populates these forums (myself included). But, there are a lot of people who use the MPAA ratings as an arbitrary guideline for deciding what they will and won’t watch (or what their children will watch). As silly as that may be in some cases, it is a reality that you can’t avoid. So, at the end of the day, there will always be a ratings system, whether it’s done through the MPAA or some other organization. And simply for the virtue of being run by human beings, the system will always look flawed to those who have no use for it. And both distributors and exhibitors, wanting to figure out how they will profit from their screenings, will always use that ratings system as a guide.

Anybody who wanted to offer up guidance or their own “ratings” could do so and post it on the internet for free. Distributing information doesn’t cost anything anymore, so the MPAA is an ugly relic. Without it, theaters, schools, and whoever else, could make up their own minds about what to screen and parents with concerns could easily find out about the content and (try) to keep their kids away from it.

What Downbylaw is saying would ideally true, but it underestimates the felt need for a collective ratings system that can be followed by everyone. The MPAA standard, even if it is inconsistent, is at least the same across the board for all people. One ratings = one standard. And though I don’t think the MPAA accurately rates content very often, they do settle the confusion and work for parents, teachers, boards, etc. who, without the MPAA, would have to sit through every movie that they might want to potentially screen so that they can come to terms with whether or not it should be shown. What I’m saying ought to be evident in the fact that there are actually plenty of other guidelines that one can follow from independent internet sources. And yet, the MPAA remains a force. Having the one standard puts everyone – studio, exhibitor, and audience – on the same page, and for most people that’s a reassuring thing.

BALISTI​K

about 2 years ago

Anybody who hasn’t watched This Film Is Not Yet Rated should do it NOW. That film tells you all you need to know about the MPAA (you can find it on youtube). I actually think a rating system is necessary but it has to be transparent and consistent and the people in charge of the ratings should be either elected officials or media/psychology experts, not producers and members of the clergy…

Dzimas

about 2 years ago

What gets me is NATO threatening to slap the NC-17 rating on Weinstein films. This is just pathetic, and shows that these mainstream movie houses have become increasingly conservative, much like television, radio, and newspapers are controlled by conservative syndicates like Fox, Gannett and other powerful media syndicates. For years conservatives have been lashing out at the “liberal media” and here they are now fully in control of much of what Americans read and watch in the way of news and entertainment.

ZED

about 2 years ago

This Film Is Not Yet Rated trailer.

The MPAA is almost as secretive as Opus Dei.