PTC Calls On AMC to Adhere to Ratings Policy
Warns that Showing Unrated Films Threatens Entire Rating
LOS ANGELES (March 27, 2012) –
Today, the Parents Television Council is responding to the
announcement that the Weinstein Company will release the documentary
“Bully” unrated by calling on all major theaters, including AMC, to
adhere to their own policies not to exhibit unrated films. PTC warns
that showing unrated content is a threat to the continued viability
of the ratings system.
“This move, regardless of intentions, sets a precedent that
threatens to derail the entire ratings system. If a distribution
company can simply decide to operate outside of the ratings system
in a case like ‘Bully,’ nothing would prevent future filmmakers from
doing precisely the same thing, with potentially much more
problematic material,” said PTC President Tim Winter.
“It is unfortunate that the
serious problem of schoolyard and online bullying is being
overshadowed by a misguided and manufactured controversy over the
MPAA rating. It’s even more unfortunate that the MPAA ratings
system, which only exists as a tool to help parents make informed
viewing decisions for their own families, is being deliberately
undermined by Weinstein and his colleagues in the entertainment
industry, and that their efforts may well spell the demise of a
system that has benefited parents and families for over forty years.
“Either ratings mean something, or
they don’t. The MPAA’s job is not to make subjective judgments about
the merit of a film or the importance of the film’s message. The
MPAA’s sole task is to take an objective measure of the adult
content in a film, and apply the appropriate rating. Though the
MPAA’s system is not perfect, it has been remarkably consistent at
least in this regard: any more than a single ‘sexual expletive’
(usually the ‘F-word’) will lead to an R-rating. ‘Bully’ employs
multiple uses of this ‘sexual expletive,’ and that is why it was
given an R-rating.
“It is time for a thoughtful reimagining of the
entire movie ratings system. What parents need and have the right to
expect from the MPAA is more clarity, more consistency, more
predictability in the ratings system; not a system that is gamed to
pick winners and losers or that changes criteria to suit a
particular – even noble – point of view,” concluded Winter.
with a representative from
the Parents Television
Council, please contact
Megan Franko at (703)
859-5054 or Liz Krieger at
(703) 683-5004 ext. 120.