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Unacceptable Media??

Writing in Slate, Edward Jay Epstein re-explains movie ratings and helpfully resummarizes what the Hollywood studios look for in movies. In short: Explicit, gory violence in a movie is OK, but sex is the kiss of death.

As the Slate story indicates, this situation results partly from the market and partly from government regulation of broadcast television, which is the eventual market for many movies.

Meanwhile, News of the Weird summarizes the kerfuffle over Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas:

In July, after word got out that the video game "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" could be fitted with an online update to make some of its scenes explicitly sexual, an 85-year-old grandmother in New York sued the company, Rockstar Games, for having failed to rate the game AO (adults only, age 18 and up) to take account of the modification. However, Florence Cohen apparently freely purchased the M-rated version (age 17 and up) for her then-14-year-old grandson, even though it invites players to murder, steal and engage in gang violence and attacks on police. She complained only when she found out that the M version's unexplicit sex and partial nudity could be made explicit. [MSNBC-AP, 7-27-05]

Is it just me, or are there some screwed-up priorities here?

Comments (7)

I don't know who said it fi... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

I don't know who said it first, but I always thought it was a brilliant question:

Why is it OK to show people ending lives, but not OK to show them starting lives?


No, it’s not just you, PW.<... (Below threshold)

No, it’s not just you, PW.

Sex and violence and censorship of such seems to be an area where nannies on the left and nannies on the right find common ground.

Reminds me of the whole SUp... (Below threshold)

Reminds me of the whole SUper Bowl Janet Jackson thing. I thought the way that Justin tore at her clothes was totally off the wall and inappropriate; her being exposed was way secondary.

What's even more absurd is ... (Below threshold)

What's even more absurd is what one must do to implement the Hot Coffee mod in PS2 or Xbox. The brief "porn" is accessible only after hacking your box by (1) purchasing a replacement ROM chip, (2) downloading a hard-to-find replacement "dashboard" or operating system, and (3) downloading and loading the patch. It's not like the porn is "plug & play" unless you're playing on a PC.

Even after doing all that, the game should only be "M."

At the risk of sounding lik... (Below threshold)

At the risk of sounding like I'm tooting my own horn (and I probably am), I covered this kind of subject on my blog (here, here, and here)

How anyone can miss the large "M" (for Mature) rating on a box, and then read about the various kinds of violence and mayhem you can cause on there (HELLO?! Someone read the TITLE!) remains beyond me. Sounds like a case of opportunism to me, and I'm sure that anti-video game crusader Jack Thompson is having a blasted field day with all of this.

Hmmm, guess I don't quite... (Below threshold)

Hmmm, guess I don't quite have the knack for posting HTML links in comments just yet. =D

Where the heck is Tipper wh... (Below threshold)

Where the heck is Tipper when you need her?






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