Self-Censorship in the Film Industry, Alex Schreiner
The MPAA is a controversial issue, because of the lack of continuity or explanation for the ratings, but not because there are ratings. Jack Valenti was very smart in creating the ratings board, because it was a preemptive way to address concerns the nation had about the content of films. It allowed for the movie industry to police themselves and allow themselves leeway where they see fit, instead of having the government try to define rigid and unchanging standards. The â€śmoving goalpostsâ€? that are addressed by Cieply are the undefined standards against which movies are rated. The ratings and standards for comparison are very ambiguous, and sometimes it seems like they are applied unequally to the same issue at different times. This is frustrating for filmmakers, who may get a higher rating for something they had shown in a previous movie without any fuss. This ambiguous system of malleable standards is good, because it allows the film industry to change with the social and moral climate of the nation without too much trouble. It can become frustrating, however, when these invisible lines routinely move and are crossed unknowingly. Overall, self-regulation is a positive force in the industry, and will continue amidst the outcries of unfairness and inconsistencies.