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Statement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 27, 2012


 

PTC Calls On AMC to Adhere to Ratings Policy

Warns that Showing Unrated Films Threatens Entire Rating System

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.

 
To speak 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.


The Parents Television Council™ (www.parentstv.org®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has more than 1.3 million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.

 

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