We, The People, Should Determine Movie-Rating Guidelines

The joy of writing sometimes originates from being told that I don’t know what I’m “talking” about. One such response came after I wrote about my frustration at how relaxed the “FCC” had gotten in rating movies. One very astute and alert reader promptly notified me that I had poorly researched an opinion piece, as the FCC does not determine the rating a movie earns. The truth of this reader is that I actually did no research at all. I merely pulled up to the keyboard and began click-clacking away at the audacity of not putting an X-rating on movies containing nudity and/or vile language. Because this article has gotten such a viewing I thought it only proper to share with the public a correction and an overview of which agency does what. The person who sent the comment was polite enough to not only inform me of my error; but, also the correct agencies for television and movies. On researching, I learned that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is comprised of the top six production studios and “determines” the film rating system. I learned that it is a non-profit agency (how convenient) and serves on a voluntary basis to inform viewers of the movie’s rating. Was that a light-bulb moment! No wonder there are no X-rated movies. Film critic Roger Ebert thinks the whole system needs to be revamped. I’d say that is an understatement? On doing a bit more research I learned that the television rating system was approved by Congress in 1996 and merely lets the viewer know within the first 15 seconds of the shows airing what is contained within. I like that courtesy; but, people who watch television pretty much know what they’re about to watch contains. It’s helpful just the same. And last, but not least, I took a look at what the role of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) actually is. I was shocked to learn that I really was off the mark. It serves, as described on their web page, “thousands” of purposes; but, is described primarily as ensuring that American citizens have access to worldwide communication services at reasonable costs without discrimination. I learned this includes everything from the internet and cable TV services to using a microwave. Without getting too deep and ending up “wrong” again I encourage you to Wiki these three agencies for more clarity as needed. The bottom line of this continues to be stronger restrictions on what people are blind-sided within movie theatres. This is not about trying to stop people from watching filth. That’s their choice. That’s their soul. The old adage: Trash in; trash out is true. But to not get off track here. But my final suggestion is to President Obama. With this stimulus-package “debacle” I almost feel selfish to discuss what some might consider trivia. But I sincerely believe a committee needs to be formed that has nothing to do with a private industry and its private agenda. I want nudity and foul language banned in family theatres. I want the young people to enjoy dinner and a movie without feeling like their dignity has been violated. There are some people who may need more than an inference on the movie screen. I, like I believe the majority of the viewers, don’t need the goriness of a scene. I’m not so dense that I have to see the full act of something that is really sacred. It’s perversion. If I were out with a person and sat through some of these movies, I’d feel safer taking a cab home. Okay. I’m off my soap box. I hope this clears up any discrepancies in the article regarding FCC Guidelines. I hope, even more so, that this resparks the conversation on a scale that has citizens calling their elected officials demanding a change be made in family theatres across America!