Friday, February 21, 2014

MPAA Ratings Are Insane

I hate ratings systems.  They promote censorship ("Ban all {films, television, games} with a certain rating!" is a cry you hear often) and they're too vague to be helpful to parents. I also have proof that the people who make ratings are categorically insane.

The image above is an MPAA poster describing their rating system for movies.  It came out many years ago, when they had just invented the NC-17 rating and thought they needed to explain them to audiences.

Let's take a closer look at it, shall we?
It starts with the G rated movies.  As you can see, the MPAA is suggesting people bring their giraffes to a movie.  Personally, I'd hate to be sitting behind a giraffe in a movie, but the point is the MPAA thinks it's okay.

I want you to pay close attention to the rabbit.  Why is a rabbit in a movie?  Probably the same reason there's a giraffe.

Moving on to PG.  The kids are gone, except for the two that are going with their family.  The giraffe is gone as well.  Giraffes only live about 20 years in the wild, so most are too young to go to PG movies alone without a chaperone.  Perhaps the MPAA is trying to make a statement about the fleeting nature of life in the wilderness.

The rabbit, on the other hand, is still at the movies, right next to the kid who is too small to be seeing something shown onscreen.  See? The MPAA is saying.  You can take your rabbit to a PG movie, but cover your daughter's eyes at some parts.  Perhaps the rabbit is older than the kid?

And we're at PG-13, the rating they invented because the word "blockbuster/tentpole that you'll end up seeing no matter what the rating is" was too obvious.  Notice the only people watching it are the family (now half covering the other kids' eyes) and some creepy guy in a bowtie.


Obviously, the rabbit is old enough to see a PG-13 movie, but not old enough to see all of it.  How does the daughter know to cover the rabbit's eyes when her own eyes are covered?  Ask the MPAA.  No, really, ask them.  I want them flooded with letters about this issue.

R rating.  The two parents have ditched the kids (and the rabbit) and have changed their clothes (probably a date night).

The NC-17 rating, which the MPAA created for artsy movies that have some nudity but never make any money.  The married couple is still there on a date although, for it truly to be an NC-17 movie, they should be looking bored and disappointed.

And the rabbit is back.  The rabbit, who is too young to to go to an R-rated movie or see a PG-13 movie without an adult is at an NC-17 film alone. And he's wearing a disguise.  That's right, the MPAA put out a guide to film ratings that suggests underage rabbits should sneak into disappointing, pornographic art films.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why the people who make ratings systems are insane.

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