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Should the MPAA abolish PG-13 rating?

POSTED: July 14, 2014 12:00 p.m.
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Is the MPAA's PG-13 rating expendable?

That's what Mashable writer Gabe Toro suggested in a Tuesday article calling out the upcoming PG-13 release of "The Expendables 4."

"PG-13 is corrupt, pointless and should be abolished," Toro wrote. "Not only is PG-13 specifically financially driven, dedicated to protecting no one from anything, but it's outdated. It's a decision created to make money, to water down films so that 'The Expendables 3' could be the same movie for a kid that it is for an adult."

But blogger Brad Brevet sees a problem with the MPAA ridding screens of PG-13: The watering down of movies rather than more R ratings.

"Thanks to the PG-13 rating the PG rating has been softened to the point it's rarely used any longer, while at the same time studios aren't going to make big budget tentpole features for an R-rated, adults-only audience," Brevet wrote. "Marvel and DC Comics' movies will be watered down to the PG-rating and adults will begin to shy away, a solution no one wants."
Yet if violence was the only distinguishing factor between PG, PG-13 and an R rating, there's little difference, as Herb Scribner of the Deseret News National Edition pointed out last year.

Scribner's article cited two 2013 studies from the Annenberg Public Policy Center and the University of Pennsylvania that found that R-rated and PG-13 films shared similar amounts of violence, sex, substance use and that gun violence in PG-13 movies has nearly tripled since 1985.

"Our findings raise serious concerns about the effectiveness of the MPAA rating system for allowing potentially harmful co-occurring content in youth-accessible films,” the later study stated.

Even kids are weighing in on the topic.
Teen Ink blogger Sonja Pond argued to take the debate one step further: the MPAA should be abolished altogether.
"If the MPAA was genuinely concerned about the well-being of America's youths, they would not rate violent movies PG-13. As long as there is no blood, movies that have numerous murders and death are rated PG-13. Whereas four times as many films received NC-17 for sex than for violence. What is that teaching children?" Pond wrote. "Anyone who has children will want to protect them from harm. What parents should be protecting their children from is the MPAA."

Email: chjohnson@deseretnews.com
Twitter: ChandraMJohnson

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