Films with too much smoking to get R rating?

Here is today’s what the fuck story:

Anti-tobacco activists have been pressing for an automatic R rating for films with smoking scenes, but MPAA chairman and CEO Dan Glickman rejected the proposal for a more nuanced approach.

“The MPAA film rating system has existed for nearly 40 years as an educational tool for parents to assist them in making decisions about what movies are appropriate for their children,” Glickman said. “It is a system that is designed to evolve alongside modern parental concerns.”

In line with that evolution, the MPAA ratings board “will now consider smoking as a factor among many other factors, including violence, sexual situations and language, in the rating of films,” he said.

“Clearly, smoking is increasingly an unacceptable behavior in our society,” Glickman said. “There is broad awareness of smoking as a unique public health concern due to nicotine’s highly addictive nature, and no parent wants their child to take up the habit. The appropriate response of the rating system is to give more information to parents on this issue.”

You have got to be fucking kidding me. I’m no big fan of smoking, but this strikes me as one of the more ridiculous things to come out of the MPAA. Considering the lengthy list of “unacceptable behavior”, from excessive drinking to driving irresponsibly, depicted since the first silent films were produced one has to wonder why every movie isn’t an automatic R rating under the stupid logic being displayed in the above decision?

The whole MPAA ratings system is a scam that works in the favor of the major studios over the smaller independent filmmakers (see This Film Is Not Yet Rated for more on that) that needs to be overhauled. That’s what they should be working on instead of worrying about smoking in a movie.

10 thoughts on “Films with too much smoking to get R rating?

  1. At the Historic Normal Theatre they usually show vintage cartoons before the “classic, foreign, and independent” films, and in a recent one, Elmer Fudd lights up a smoke and obviously enjoys it (before some incredibly violent mayhem ensues involving his complete disregard of gun safety).

    Man, I love those old cartoons.  But they are being Bowdlerized to excise unacceptable scenes.  “Won’t someone please think of the children!!!”  Do they think kids will be inspired to smoke in imitation of Elmer Fudd?  It’s a wonder we who grew up with such cartoons aren’t all mass murderers, after all.  wink

  2. i’d think it’d be interesting to have cigerettes with sparklers in for fireworks night
    Anyway i think the causes of smoking are different now, more out of peer pressure and experimentalism than trying to be ‘classy’ back in the times of treatment by class, and also before people realised the dangers

  3. The MPAA is a religion unto itself.  As some wag said years ago, “Expose a breast, and you get an R.  Slice off a breast, and you get PG-13.”

    Although I too am a moderately rabid anti-smoker, this is ridiculous.

  4. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:

    Regardless of smoking’s actual dangers, the anti-smoking rhetoric gauge these days is high into the religious realms of “condemning the sin, not the sinner” and self-righteousness. If smoking were a book, anti-smoking activists would be clamoring for people to burn it – and here we have the first salvos for censorship. Remember folks, it’s not just the smokes that are harmful to you now. It’s watching people smoke, too. Hello, Thought Police.

  5. Although I too am a moderately rabid anti-smoker, this is ridiculous.


    I had to look up Bowdlerized for its etymology. It’s a wonder ‘they’ haven’t taken the murder and mayhem and other bad shit from the bible and call it The Bible – Lite; maybe cos then it could be sold a short story; no money in short stories.

  6. I am a heavy smoker.  The last several generations of my family have had some heavy smokers, and plenty of relatives that don’t appreciate it, and won’t let us smoke in their homes, and good for them, Dammit!  My point being, it’s a lot harder to demonize a habit when your loving grandma does it.  But Mister Mook already made my point better than I can.

    My real reason for being here is to share the Good News.  Jerry Falwell is dead and will not be resurrected anytime soon.  I suggest a hearty lager for celebratory purposes, and a little appropriate music:
    From Frank Zappa’s 1981 Album “You Are What You Is” tracks 14, 15, and 16, my personal “Holy Trinity”: “The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing” “Dumb All Over” and “Heavenly Bank Account.”
    In all seriousness, give them a listen if you can, or at least look up the lyrics and give them a read- a close examination shows how prescient- hell, almost psychic, a great artist can be.

  7. From Frank Zappa’s 1981 Album “You Are What You Is” tracks 14, 15, and 16, my personal “Holy Trinity”: “The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing” “Dumb All Over” and “Heavenly Bank Account.”

    FANTASTIC!!! A Frank Zappa reference always warms my heart.

    my personal fav is; “Without deviation from the norm. Progress is not possible.”

  8. Remember children are stupid robots and their parents are shitty programmers. That why we need almighty Microsoft, I mean the church, wait the government, sorry the movie industry (this time) to tell us how to raise our kids.

  9. Luckily for us parents, timmeh,  there’s no surveillance (so far) of our shifty programming, and we can raise our kids as we wish.  Luckily for the world, our kids make up their own minds anyway, by and large.

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