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MPAA Whines Over 'Captivity' Poster

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I read on that the MPAA is apparently furious with Lions Gate over their controversial advertisements for the film Captivity, which features a half-buried but still hot Elisha Cuthbert pressed against a window pane and a fairly unimaginative billboard. Many people would say that this breast-erific poster will probably be the only positive thing about the film, but since there were some complaints, the MPAA has decided to throw the constitution out the window (figuratively) and continue its disturbing trend of being the film industries biggest censor.

The punishment is a monthlong suspension of the ratings process for the horror film, which has not yet been rated. The move could make it difficult for the film to bow on its scheduled release date of May 18.

That's just unacceptable. The MPAA has no jurisdiction over material that doesn't go into the film, much less movie posters - I don't care what they say they have in their contracts. It is unreasable for them to dictate what can and cannot go into advertisements that are totally unrelated to the film itself.

The MPAA has been stepping out of line for a long time, and I think it's time to put a good old fashioned beat down on it to bring this crap to an end. It's bad enough that large theater chains refuse to screen films that don't go through the process, because it subjects film makers to not just a moderate amount of censorship, but necessarily the most conservative kind of censorship it can possibly get away with. If the MPAA were a federal institution, it would have been banished from existence from its very inception for violating the First Amendment rights of film makers.

And that's really a kick in the balls, because the entire point of the MPAA was to stop the federal government from stepping in to regulate. I'm sitting here and just shaking my head at that. There is no way the federal government could get away with doing what the MPAA does, and yet they scared the studios into creating the MPAA anyway, and look how far it has come.

Nobody knows for sure just what the MPAA guidelines are, and they'll happily tell you that. They don't know what constitutes just a little too sexy, or a little too violent, or a little too scary. They have to censor themselves, then submit the film for review only to be censored again. And now look what's happening.

The MPAA, whose only purpose is supposedly to rate films, is trying to punitively punish a studio for something it did with a freaking poster. Not only should Lions Gate release Captivity without an MPAA rating in protest, so should every other studio that I know damn well is sick and tired of putting up with their crap. That includes its core members.

Let's cut the head off this monster and replace it with a fair and transparent system, one properly limited in scope to actually reviewing films, not playing Internet cop over movie posters and billboards.

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The text of this article is Copyright © 2006,2007 Paul William Tenny. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Attribution by: full name and original URL. Comments are copyrighted by their authors and are not subject to the Creative Commons license of the article itself.