The American Medical Association Alliance is at it again, making a push for any and all movies that include some form of smoking to be given an R-rating. Dr. Jonathan Fielding of the AMAA drops the heavy research evidence that 1-in-3 kids who see smoking in movies, or whose favorite superstar smokes in a movie, are much more likely to start smoking themselves. Also, that 56% of movies of the past couple of years that were “youth-rated” G, PG, or PG-13 included smoking.
The MPAA quickly corrected the very obvious fact that they had no G-rated films with smoking, and that the others were rated appropriately for their content. The MPAA also reaffirmed that they have been including the act of smoking in their rating systems for a while now and that of the 55% of all movies that included any kind of smoking, only 21% were given a PG-13, with 5% being PG — leaving 75% of the movies getting an R.
This isn’t good enough for the AMAA, who again want any movie with ANY kind of smoking to be rated R. Their “case-closed” example of the year is the recent hit X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which had Hugh Jackman apparently smoking a cigar for two-hours straight in a cinematic homage to the late, great George Burns. AMAA President Sandi Frost called the cigar smoking featured in the film “gratuitous” and had this to say…
Millions of children have been exposed to the main star of the film, Hugh Jackman, with a cigar in his mouth in various scenes. I’m willing to bet that not one child would have enjoyed that movie or Mr. Jackman’s performance any less if he hadn’t been smoking.
When it comes to pure and unadulterated hatred, the MPAA ranks pretty high on my list (right next to the RIAA). Most of the time my ire is quirked by their dealings with DRM, permissions, and distribution. But this time, I’m sitting right next to John Moore, director of the upcoming Max Payne movie, in my hatred concerning their lack of consistency with movie ratings.
Moore has expressed his derision for the MPAA’s decision to give Max Payne an adults-only R-rating in a recent interview with Das Gamer. Describing their decision as being part of what he calls “Batman blowback,” Moore says that the MPAA “gave The Dark Knight a PG-13 rating and basically sucked Warner Bros. cock.”
“The MPAA changes their rules willy-nilly and it depends on who’s seeing your actual movie at the time. It’s very difficult to get a hold on what’s acceptable. The only thing you can use is current standards. So I go and see The Dark Knight and I say, “Gee, that’s pretty gnarly for PG-13,” but I felt good about Max Payne after coming out of the theater. I thought Max wasn’t going to have a problem. And that’s not the case. They’re coming down on us pretty hard.”