Movie rating system needs to change

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Movie rating system needs to change

Kaden Simmons, reporter

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Movie ratings have been around since 1968 and were made as a helpful suggestion. The idea on paper was for it to be a helpful insight into what to type of movie it was going to be. According to an article by Jane Anderson “‘I’ve been disillusioned with the rating system,’ says Susan Jakub, who has four children ranging in age from 6 to 18. ‘I’ve been to PG movies and have seen some obnoxious things. Other parents say the same thing. You really can’t rely on the (rating system) and you get fed up with it.”’ Jim Huston of Rockport, Mass., states ”The criterion shifts all the time. What was R a few years ago would be PG today. You see some horribly violent movies and they’ll be PG.”

How the ratings work is explained by an article Barbara J. Wilson “The ratings are established by a board of seven Los Angeles area parents — real mothers and fathers — whose full time paid job is to review films. Its membership is not intentionally selected to include educators, childhood development experts or others with special training in the effects of media on children” How they actually determine the ratings from the same article “Unfortunately, the MPAA’s preoccupation with what is offensive to adults comes at the expense of what is arguably a more important question: What types of portrayals are really harmful to children?” Which raises the question, why should we trust these ratings?

Here’s the answer – we shouldn’t, and we’re not the only ones to emphasize this thought. According to the article, “What’s Wrong with the Ratings?”, “The MPAA rating system divides viewers into three broad age ranges: 0-13 years, 13-17 years and over 17. Such a broad classification ignores the critical changes in learning and evaluation that occur during the preteen years.” So, when you take this into consideration, you begin to realize just how unfair this system is.

I propose a new more fair system that is less flawed. Instead of rating movies on really broad age groups, focus more on the actual movie. Have a rating that describes the seemingly immature content to let parents know what to expect, rather than a vague number rating. Movie ratings have very vague ratings such as “use of language” or “brief violence.” This doesn’t inform completely on what you should expect. Including what words are actually in the movie can inform parents of what to expect to see and if their child is fit to watch the movie. They can’t put the f-bomb on paper, but if we had a system that could show that’s what is in the movie such as abbreviations or use asterisks. This would make the movie rating system more fair to the creators of the movies.