The all-powerful and, by the way, unelected and un-appointed Motion Picture Association of America retains control over a significant amount of the non print creation and dissemination of media in the United States and a good deal of the remainder of the world.
They are the "Studios," the "Broadcast Networks" and an enormous assortment of "other stuff."
I have excerpted parts of this from their (the MPAA) website:
The Motion Picture Association of America serves as the voice and advocate of the American motion picture, home video and television industries in the United States and around the world. MPAA's members are the six major U.S. motion picture studios: The Walt Disney Studios; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc.; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios, LLLP; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. We are a proud champion of intellectual property rights, free and fair trade, innovative consumer choices, freedom of expression and the enduring power of movies to enrich and enhance people's lives.
Sure they are!
Have a look at the essentially unregulated power they have in the control of what they say they are "... the champion of ..." but that is for another time. At this moment I would like to deal with their self serving and hypocritical statement about freedom of expression.
The MPAA ratings board has given an R rating to the documentary motion picture The Tillman Story. As many will recall Tillman, a Ranger was killed in a friendly fire incident. Of course this was covered up by those tellers of truth, the Bush administration.
I gather that the R rating was bestowed on the film because of language issues. Is it conceivable that an irresponsible person like me would say that this is at least in a manner of speaking, censorship?
The very fact that the MPAA continues to exist at all in 2010 is a travesty. We do after all I believe have anti-trust laws, but that too is for another time.
This is taken directly from the MPAA web-site.
R - Restricted. Children Under 17 Require Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian. An R-rated motion picture, in the view of the Rating Board, contains some adult material. An R-rated motion picture may include adult themes, adult activity, hard language, intense or persistent violence, sexually-oriented nudity, drug abuse or other elements, so that parents are counseled to take this rating very seriously. Children under 17 are not allowed to attend R-rated motion pictures unaccompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Parents are strongly urged to find out more about R-rated motion pictures in determining their suitability for their children. Generally, it is not appropriate for parents to bring their young children with them to R-rated motion pictures.
"..not appropriate..?" How do they have the temerity to tell parents what is appropriate for them to do?
Also, to be fair, a panel of "citizens" decides what the ratings are to be. However, these "citizens" are using the MPAA guidelines.
I do need psychiatric care in that the MPAA seems to find it acceptable for people 17 or under to see the death mayhem destruction and violence of the The Tillman Story as well as so many others and not be allowed to hear those words that permeate their schoolyards in particular and their general environment.
I also need a little help in that these same MPAA companies who own broadcast and cable channels ALLOW these very same words to be disseminated to their audience 24/7 by a variety of delivery systems.
As an aside I wonder what parents tell their inquiring children when they ask "Daddy, why should you call your doctor if you have an erection lasting more than 4 hours?" Were this to happen to me I would call everyone I know including my ex-wife and tell them, but alas that as well is not the issue.
The hypocrisy of the system is appalling. The absolute power of the MPAA companies is appalling as well.
And of course The Tillman Story lost their appeal to overturn the documentary's R rating for "excessive language."
Six self serving MPAA members who are probably not afraid of the feds but are probably afraid of the church make these decisions. I know that they would be pleased to answer this but how would they justify an R rated film playing unedited on a pay service or DVD when there is little or no parental control?
Works for me.
Their answer to the question could be "but we have the V-chip" and I might just scream!