‘Rated R for strong graphic smoking…’
Is everyone so wrapped up in their personal crusades that they can’t see anything from the standpoint of basic logic?
It was reported today that the MPAA will start using smoking as one of the factors in how a movie gets its rating. Smoking will also become one of the descriptors that will end up tacked onto movies and put into the MPAA “reasons” database.
So in addition to a PG-13 rating “for violence, sexual content and language,” we will, no doubt, soon see helpful descriptions that say a movie is rated PG-13 “for violence, sexual content, language and smoking.” When I look at that, it seems silly for some reason.
In the AP story, some critics of this move say it doesn’t go far enough. Some want movies with smoking to get a mandatory R rating.
“I’m glad it’s finally an issue they’re taking up, but what they’re proposing does not go far enough and is not going to make a difference,” said Kori Titus, spokeswoman for Breathe California, which opposes film images of tobacco use that might encourage young people to start smoking.
— Associated Press
For those that want mandatory R ratings for smoking, what kills me is the blatant disregard for logical thinking. For crying out loud, get off your high horse and stop trying to put all the children in a safety bubble (that’s a smoke-free bubble, of course!). So now we have to protect children to the point that we can’t even expose them to the fact that smoking is something some people do in movies and maybe even in real life? Smoking is legal, for crissakes. I’m not a smoker or an advocate for smoking (and public smoking bans are just fine by me), but can’t we all use some common sense regarding images of smoking in movies?
Given the amount of violence you can get in a PG-13 movie, with plenty of illegal behavior like, you know, murder and mayhem, what kind of sense does it make to have a mandatory R rating for an admittedly unsafe but legal activity? If smoking is an automatic R, then you’d think killing someone would be.
The severity of smoking will play into the MPAA’s use of wording, with phrases like “glamorized smoking” or “pervasive smoking.” I can only hope a film comes along soon that gets one of those lengthy descriptors that only the MPAA could write: “Rated R for intense sequences of pervasive graphic stylized smoking.” Hell, a movie with a title like 200 Cigarettes probably couldn’t even be advertised on TV anymore. Or made in Hollywood. Especially if it’s illegal to smoke on a set, like it will be in Illinois.
And thank God for the MPAA’s due diligence in this matter. Otherwise children would see a movie with smoking and then they’d have no choice but to leave the theater, walk to a gas station, buy a pack of cigarettes, and light up because of the power of persuasion of movies!
Unless, of course, Truth manages to intercede and save them.