The FCC has caught a lot of flack in this post-Wardrobe-Malfunction-Nipplegate world. They’re cracking down on tv and radio broadcasts, and throwing fines at people for violating their rules, even though they refuse to define what those rules specifically are. Now they have some company in their quest to overly sanitize and censor the world: the MPAA.
Cinemablend is reporting that, “The MPAA objected to the blood spurting stumps [click here for the British version] on the official website for the new gory horror movie Severance, and have forced Magnolia Pictures to take down the website and replace it with something more tame and MPAA approved. You can see their new, watered-down website here.”
So the MPAA is flexing their considerable muscle in a market where they have no jurisdiction. I can understand why Magnolia would kowtow to this kind of nonsense, but I can’t understand why the MPAA would even care. They are not supposed to be policing the internet. They aren’t really even supposed to be censoring things. According to their own website, their purpose is to “provide parents with advance information so they can decide for themselves which films are appropriate for viewing by their own children. The Board uses the same criteria as any parent making a judgment. Theme, language, violence, nudity, sex and drug use are among content areas considered in the decision-making process.”
So, fine, give the film an R rating for violence, nudity, drugs, etc. It’s absolutely inappropriate for children, and I am glad we have a system in place to let people know what they are getting into (why oh why didn’t I listen to the rating on Pan’s Labyrinth?!). But the website is geared towards people who want to see the movie, and are therefore into blood and gore. Twelve-year-old kids are not going to stumble across this in their search for instruction on how to make a papier mache volcano for the science fair. Even if they did, I don’t see how it’s any business of the MPAA. Just stick to your ratings system, guys, and I promise not to pirate any movies.
By the way, Severance opens everywhere on May 18th! I’ve seen it, and I recommend it, it you’re over 17 and into that kind of thing.