The MPAA Ratings System and Today's Parent: What is YOUR Child Watching?

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The MPAA Ratings System and Today’s Parent: What is YOUR Child Watching? In the 1960’s, the morals of the American people were evolving rapidly. More people became concerned with topics and issues being explored in movies, and called for some kind of regulation. Because of this, the motion picture industry decided to put in place a ratings system that would notify parents of the content of movies without disrupting filmmakers’ creativity (Ratings paragraph 1). However, since the 1960’s, morals have continued to change. What was considered outrageous in the 1960’s seems almost tame in a day and age where one can turn on the television and see buildings being blown up on one channel, softcore porn on the next, and a children’s cartoon three channels over. But how well has the ratings system held up through the years? While many parents still use the MPAA ratings system to monitor and regulate what their children see, they may not really know what each rating means and how well that rating actually relates to the content of the movie. In recent years, several critics have called for a change in the ratings system that would make the ratings better reflect what is depicted in the film. One reason the ratings system should be changed is that the lines are blurred between some ratings. What kind of content gets a film an “R” rating, and what content deserves the dreaded “NC-17”? One article written by Andrew Essex for Entertainment Weekly magazine provides an example: in the movie Eyes Wide Shut, sixty five seconds of an orgy scene were digitally obscured, successfully bringing the film from an “NC-17” to an “R” rating (paragraph 1). Essex also discusses how Wild Wild West, a Will Smith film which begins with a decapitation, was given a “PG-13” rating (paragraph 7). Meanwhile, South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut, a film notorious for its bad language, received an

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