Written by Matilda Mornane.
Evan Rachel Wood recently took to Twitter to slam the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) for censoring scenes in her most recent film, Charlie Countryman.
Director Frederik Bond’s first feature film follows Charlie, played by Shia LaBeouf, on a very drug-and-sex filled journey to Romania, where he falls for Wood’s character, Gabi. The film, which debuted at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, appears to have been edited after its initial screening. Sex scenes between Wood and LaBeouf’s characters were cut from the final production, due to requests by the MPAA. While scenes of this nature are still welcome on websites like Nu Bay, it’s about time that a bit more sexual leeway was given to Hollywood productions too.
The MPAA typically assigns ratings to films based on what they believe “the majority of American parents would give a movie.” But how exactly do they judge this?
Wood’s belief is that the MPAA is censoring the scenes because they don’t want to show a female receiving pleasure from sex, rather than a male. Whereas these kinds of sex scenes are able to be found at the click of a button on websites such as sex-hd.xxx, the same cannot be said within Hollywood films. Wood ranted that it was time for the MPAA to grow up, and that they should accept that “woman are sexual beings [sic]”.
Part of Wood’s Twitter rant read:
“…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…”
However, the censorship for films doesn’t appear to be limited to female sexual pleasure, as Wood has accused in her Tweets. Similarly, Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street has narrowly avoided an NC-17 rating, instead being slapped with an R rating, after Scorsese agreed to eliminate certain scenes of nudity and sex from the final cut. It appears as though people looking for sexual content are better off going to websites such as hdpornvideo xxx check this site out instead of going for a trip to the movies. And this goes without saying really. Any sexy movie can get you feeling a bit hot under the collar, and you don’t want to embarrass yourself in public. Especially if you’re going through a dry spell. Instead, maybe you should invest in a vibrator or a blowjob machine and go to town in the comfort of your own home! As you’ll know, there’s plenty of content online to accompany you.
Of course, these aren’t the only films to be given strict ratings or to have been forced to remove certain scenes due to their graphic nature. The Hollywood Reporter compiled a list of twelve famous films that managed to surpass the NC-17 rating when they deleted scenes that didn’t meet the requirements of the MPAA. The list features films such as Pulp Fiction, The Godfather Part III and Scream, all of which have explicit or graphic scenes.
The higher ratings in the classification system can radically limit a film’s audience, so filmmakers naturally attempt to cater to the MPAA’s requests as much as possible. However, there appears to be a very fine line between a restricted rating and one that allows audiences under the age of seventeen – in the eyes of the MPAA.
British film Philomena, a comedy-drama starring Judi Dench, was originally given a rating of R in the US due to the word “fuck” being featured twice, as opposed to the usual allowance of one F-bomb per PG-13 rating. Filmmaker Harvey Weinstein appealed against the R rating, and eventually received a rating of PG-13. But it still begs the question: what exactly makes the MPAA tick?
I have to disagree with Evan Rachel Wood’s rant, but I do marvel at the way the MPAA is happy censoring a man pleasuring a woman, while frequently allowing films such as Kill Bill through with an ‘R’ (even with certain “edits”), with scenes of heads being cut clean off.
If anything, it seems that filmmakers and even actors can complain and rant on Twitter all they want, but as long as it’s around, the MPAA will always be dictating film’s ratings, and the scenes that end up in the final cuts.