My problem with the MPAA

I was scrolling through my twitter feed on Wednesday November, 27 when I saw someone I follow retweeting tweets from actress Evan Rachel Wood. Here’s an article from NYdailynews.com that has a screenshot of her tweets.

There were more than 7 tweets in total(some she ended up deleting because of a “grammar fix”) that slammed the MPAA. for the recent cut of the film she’s starring in, “Charlie Countryman”.

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She accused the MPAA of cutting a scene in which her character receives oral sex from a male character in the film so the film would not receive a NC-17 rating. The basic point of her “twitter rant” was that the MPAA is promoting a double standard. And I completely agree.

A few of her tweets state that the MPAA censored “a woman’s sexuality once again. The scene where the two main characters make ‘love’ was altered because some felt that seeing a man give a woman oral sex made people ‘uncomfortable’ but the scenes in which people are murdered by having their heads blown off remained intact and unaltered…this is a symptom of a society that wants to shame women and put them down for enjoying sex…”

I think the points she makes here are very important and something that needs to be recognized as an issue and something that needs to be discussed. This was an issue with the MPAA three years ago as well.

In 2010, prior to the release of “Blue Valentine”, there was debate over if the film should receive an NC-17 for a scene where Ryan Gosling’s character performs oral sex on Michelle Williams’ character. I’ve seen the movie and it’s hardly a sexually graphic scene. It’s shot in a way that any “inappropriate” body parts are concealed. It’s actually quite a romantic scene. But, putting Rachel Evan Woods’ points into effect, since the scene is showing a woman being sexual, and the male not getting any sexual gratification himself, it’s considered too graphic for an R rating.

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Here’s an article discussing this rating debate. Ryan Gosling even sees the sexist issue with the MPAA. It’s time for everyone else to recognize the issue as well.

I think this is a ridiculous standard for the MPAA to rule by. It’s clear that the MPAA and society is uncomfortable with women being sexual beings and are therefore shamed for it. This issue reflects the issues in society With victim blaming occurring with rape victims, and sex shaming being thrown upon women all the time, this type of sexist behavior in the media can be damaging.

Evan Rachel Wood brings up a great point in saying that a graphically violent scene would be allowed over a sex scene. From my viewpoint, I think violence is more harmful than a woman being sexual. I think there definitely needs to be an update with the MPAA’s standard when it comes to rating films. I think there is too much violence allowed.

With the recent issue that Wood has brought to light, along with the “Blue Valentine” debate, it’s clear to me that the MPAA has an issue with female sexuality. Why is it okay that violent scenes, or even scenes in which a women are raped, receive R-ratings, but when a woman is shown as sexual, it’s slapped with a NC-17 rating? It’s offensive, sexist and needs to be dealt with. I will be following this issue and see where it leads.

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