Where there's smoke, some see an 'R' rating
Movie guidelines unclear, critics say
By Stephen Smith, Globe Staff | May 12, 2007
There was drama. There was passion. There was talk of heroes and villains. And in true Hollywood fashion, the Motion Picture Association of America found itself yesterday facing mixed reviews for changing movie ratings to include smoking but providing no detailed guidelines on how films will be graded.
The film industry said the move underscores its growing commitment to reducing teenage smoking. If Lois Lane lights up, for example, a movie that previously would have earned a PG-13 rating, based on its levels of sex, violence, and vulgarity, might now get an R -- and a warning to parents that the film glamorizes smoking.But anti smoking activists expressed dismay yesterday that the guidelines did not go further.
Despite four years of discussion, there was no promise that a certain amount of smoking would warrant an immediate grade of R, which can be the kiss of box office death because -- in theory, any way -- it means younger adolescents can't see it without parental consent.
"You hate to use the phrase, but the proposed change to the ratings is a smoke screen instead of a concrete, measurable change," said Matthew Myers , president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids , which had argued that any film depicting smoking should be branded with an R. "It will allow Hollywood to say that it has done something while not actually forcing a change in the smoking our children see."( Full story )
...this is getting retarded.