Heart stopper: Harvey Weinstein is battling the MPAA over the rating for Blue Valentine starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams.
By Lee Pfeiffer
The Motion Picture Association of America implemented the voluntary movie ratings system in 1968 to avoid the government establishing an officer of censorship similar to those in other countries. Although the system has precluded government interference in marketing of films, it's been controversial since day one with studios and directors complaining about double standards. Mogul Harvey Weinstein has enlisted high profile legal help to battle the MPAA's NC-17 rating for the new movie Blue Valentine. Even though newspapers, magazines and TV stations sell sexual imagery continuously, many still refuse to advertise films with the NC-17 rating - in essence lumping these adult dramas in with porn films. The rating is therefore the kiss of death on studio marketing efforts. Weinstein is appealing the ruling, arguing that the MPAA is holding to a double standard in which love scenes are treated more severely than grotesque violence. He said, “How did Piranha 3D get an R and Blue Valentine gets an NC-17?” he asks, citing the August horror film released by TWC’s own Dimension label (run by his brother, Bob Weinstein). “If [Piranha 3D] got an NC-17, I’d be the first going, ‘All right, we gotta cut some of that stuff.’ It’s ridiculous — a penis got coughed up in the movie by a piranha! They show more in four scenes [in that movie] than we do in [all of Blue Valentine]! And ours is a serious love story. I don’t understand it.” Click here for more