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The Slate

To PG-13 or Not To PG-13

To PG-13 or Not To PG-13

There is more gun-related violence in PG-13 movies than in R-rated movies. This is the conclusion found by the Annenberg Public Policy Center and Ohio State University in a recent study published in the medical journal Pediatrics. Also, according to Entertainment Weekly, “gun violence in the most popular PG-13 releases since 1985 has tripled in frequency.”

Just about every movie-goer is familiar with what the series of letters and numbers before the trailers stand for. The MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) ratings system is designed to keep underage viewers from inappropriate content. However, now people are questioning whether that system is flawed. Although is this not the first time the system has been criticized (in 2004 a Harvard study found there was an increase of sex and profanity being allowed into films between 1993 and 2003), the MPAA remains adamant they are doing the best job they can. 

The biggest argument from viewers is that the MPAA is too quick to give an R-rating to films due a few expletives or fleeting nudity regardless of its remaining content. According to EW, the head of the ratings board Joan Groves said to the Associated Press, “parents more frequently object to language or sex in movies, and that ‘they feel they’re getting the correct information about the violence.’”

Groves goes on say that there’s more violence in movies than ever before. This growth is mostly due to the rise of comic book movies, which bring a variety of violent acts other than gunplay. Either way, some establishments have decided move on without the MPAA’s advice. EW goes on to report that the New York IFC Center allowed teenagers into showings of new coming of age film Blue is the Warmest Color which has a lengthy lesbian lovemaking scene. Their reasoning: “[They] felt a movie about teenagers deserved to be seen by teenagers.”

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