The Instigator
Kumquatodor
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
PatriotPerson
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

The MPAA Rating System Should be Altered II

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
PatriotPerson
Started: 9/17/2013 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 6 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 735 times Debate No: 37835
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)

 

Kumquatodor

Pro

The first time I tried this debate, (http://www.debate.org...), my opponent ultra-forfeited. So now, I'm trying this again.

To make the title clearer: To make it clearer: the rating system and the organization that distributes the rating should be altered.

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Arguments
Round 3: Arguments/Rebuttals
Round 4: Arguments/Rebuttals
Round 5: Rebuttals/Conclusion

Good Luck.
PatriotPerson

Con

I accept. Thus brings yet another Kumquatodor vs. PatriotPerson. May the better debated win, my rival.
Debate Round No. 1
Kumquatodor

Pro

Thank you for accepting.
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What is appropriate for a 13-year-old? What is inappropriate for a 16-year-old?

These are the questions the MPAA have to answer. And for some parents, I'm sure that the MPAA is a perfect model for what is appropriate for their child. For a majority, though, these guidelines are not representative of their values.

At 11-years-old, I was allowed to watch Terminator (Rated R).
I have not spoke directly to other people, but from what I've heard from across forums, several children watched Terminator alone before they were 17.

So, obviously, the ratings are debatable as to how well they categorize movies by age.

My parents allowed me to watch it alone, which I couldn't do in theaters. Many people have done similar.
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How should we change the system?

Among those wanting to change what constitutes as an R, PG-13, PG, etc., there is a debate on how this should be changed.

Some say that violence is way too common, while nudity, sex and profanity are too condemned. Others say that there is too much of everything in movies, and that the Hays Code should be ressurected. Still, some say that the MPAA is a worthless system.

I have considered the alternatives, and have found what I believe to be the best way of alteration:

1. Have objective, exact standards to what constitutes a specific rating. (I will expand on this later)
2. Get rid of the NC-17 rating. (I will expand on this later)
3. Add accountability.
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1. No acceptions, even for James Cameron

The film ratings have been inconsistant at best, and lackadaisical at worst.

What is PG-13 violence? How far does that go until it becomes worthy of R?
Seemingly, it is the inclusion of blood that decides that a 16-year-old cannot handle it without an adult. Even then, it is inconsistent.

Let us contrast the violence of two movies: the Matrix and the Dark Knight Rises

In the Matrix, there is intense Kung Fu style action, with triple-spin-kicks and super-strength, there are gun fights where time slows down, and the deaths are quick. The Matrix is rated R, mainly for its violence.

Let us now take The Dark Knight Rises. Without spoiling the movie, there is shooting, stabbing, punching people until they die. The Dark Knight Rises is rated PG-13, mostly for its violence.

What is the difference? The Dark Knight Rises is portrayed as the "Real World". The violence is more realistic; in order to fight 6 guys, you need to cheat with gadgets. Fist fights end with people having concussions or worse. Armor is not completely bullet-proof.

The Matrix's violence, however, is obviously fantasy. People get hurt, sure, but the violence is in no way similar to the real world. You can dodge bullets. You can beat Bruce Lee because you downloaded knowledge. Not only do you instantly know Kung Fu (which you will happily show me), you know centuries worth of martial arts knowledge.

The Matrix, however, got the higher rating. Why? Umm... I dunno. There was some blood at the end... Umm... A few f-bombs... Wait, you can have one f-bomb in a PG-13, or is it two? Four?... Why was the Matrix an R?

Don't get me wrong; the Dark Knight Rises was not unreasonably violent, but its PG-13 rating seems inconsistant.

This is just one example of inconsistancy.

And don't get me started on Titanic!
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2. NC-U-L8TR


Now, the most important reason why the MPAA needs altered: the NC-17 is the kiss of death.

Did you hear about that new NC-17 movie? No? Neither did I! You see, you can't advertise for NC-17 movies on normal TV. Because of this, the profits take a huge plunge.

Even if you do hear of the NC-17 movie, you likely cannot see it because of most theaters' refusal to carry the movie.

So it's safe to say that any movie given the NC-17 movie rating is dead.
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3. Who are you!?


Who is prescribing the poison? I dunno. We aren't told!

Who are these people that rate our entertainment? We are told that they are a group of parents. How do we verify this? How do we know that this group has no alterior motives? Some have accused them of being biased against indie studios. Whether or not this theory is true is irrelevant; what the point is is that these people are not held accountable.

With their lack of accountability, they can be biased, like many claim they are.
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PatriotPerson

Con

First off, I will show how Wikipedia says how the ratings are done (and don't pester me about using Wikpedia, it's just as incorrectable as it is correctable, and they have monitors going through practically every page every day).

G-General Audiences
All ages admitted. This movie contains nothing that would offend parents for viewing by children.Such films may contain only mild violence or crude humor. Such films have no nudity, sex, drugs or coarse language of any kind. They might contain some language that is not so polite, but nothing that is coarse. The discrimination/bullying or emotional intensity must be minimal in quantity. Alcohol and tobacco may be used in small amounts by adults in the movie, but not by minors, especially in older G rated films. The violence or horror must be cartoonish in nature and/or minimal in quantity.

PG-Parental Guidance Suggested
Some material may not be suitable for children. Parents are urged to give parental guidance as the motion picture contains some material that parents might not find suitable for their pre-teenagers.Such films may contain some violence,infrequent coarse language,crude situations,suggestive material,some rude or unsophisticated behavior, discrimination/bullying, thematic elements,disturbing/startling images, mild horror, action and peril, emotional intensity, drug references, alcohol, tobacco, brief partial or somewhat complete nudity and/or implied or some sexual situations.

PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious as the motion picture contains some material that parents might not like for their children under 13.Such films may contain moderate to strong violence, horror, action and peril, strong coarse language, some suggestive material and partial or somewhat complete nudity, strong rude or unsophisticated behavior, discrimination/bullying, alcohol, smoking, intense sexual situations, crude situations, thematic elements, emotional intensity, disturbing/startling images, and/or soft drug use or references.

R-Restricted
Under 17 requires accompanying parent or guardian. Such films may contain rough and/or persistent violence and suggestive material, hard language, strong horror, action and peril, strong crude sexual content, alcohol, tobacco, thematic elements, hard crude situations, emotional intensity, disturbing/startling images, hard rude or unsophisticated behavior, discrimination/bullying, sexually oriented nudity, and/or hard drug use.Admittance to these films is prohibited for anyone under the age of seventeen unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. Children 17 and above are permitted to watch R rated movies alone.

NC-17: No One 17 & Under Admitted
This film is clearly adult and children are not admitted. Such films may contain brutality/pervasive extreme non-stop graphic violence, explicit sexual content, sexual assault, extreme horror, extreme emotional intensity, discrimination/bullying, crude situations, strong graphic non-stop language, disturbing/startling images, strong graphic drug use, alcohol, tobacco and/or aberrational behavior.Admittance to these films is prohibited for anyone under the age of eighteen.
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So here's how I see it:
G= Anyone
PG= Anyone 10+
PG-13= Anyone 13+
R= Anyone 17+
NC-17: Anyone 18+

And here's how language goes:
G can say things like: heck, rats, dang, darn, and fart.
PG can say things that are moderate like: a*s and sh*t
PG-13 rated films can contain up to four "harsher sexually derived words". However, if a character in a film says a "harsher sexually derived word" (such as f*ck) five or more times, it is required that the film is given an R rating.
R rated films can say f*ck as many times they want, but not in the term motherf*cker, because the expletive part of that cuss is always blocked out by a loud sound.
NC-17 rated films can say anything they want whenever they want.
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Your argument on "dead NC-17 movies" can easily be countered. They are not advertised on TV or sold at normal stores because they are either pornographic or way too violent for anyone 17 and under. Thus, they can only be sold at places like sex shops.
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The MPAA is made up of parents and just normal people with jobs alike whose job is to watch films pre-release and determine the film's rating based on its content.
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And as for you being able to watch terminator, parents' views on what they think they're safe with their children watching vary. As a kid growing up, I was a big fan of superheroes and comic books. My parents let me watch Blade and the Punisher (1989), which are both rated R. So we are both examples of people with parents whose views varied from others'.
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Finally, would you like to have another debate on the ESRB (video game rating
system: Ec, E, E10+, T, M, and Ao)?
Debate Round No. 2
Kumquatodor

Pro

R rated films can say f*ck as many times they want, but not in the term motherf*cker, because the expletive part of that cuss is always blocked out by a loud sound.

Off topic, I know, but why are you censoring your profanity? The little "*"'s (what are they called?) do not impede my ability to know what you are talking about. The words are the same things... Just a question. I never understood this.

They are not advertised on TV or sold at normal stores because they are either pornographic or way too violent for anyone 17 and under.
We can advertise for movies that contain brutal murder and rape... Just don't show them in the scenes in the trailer

And... what is the difference between 16 and 17? Do 17 year olds suddenly have the ability to see someone lit on fire while being eaten alive?

And directors have the right to make whatever movie they want! Did you know the original Scream was NC-17? Let me tell you, it certainly wasn't any worse than Saw!
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So we are both examples of people with parents whose views varied from others'.
That's fine, but I'm sure that there are a lot more than us.
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and don't pester me about using Wikpedia, it's just as incorrectable as it is correctable, and they have monitors going through practically every page every day
Wikipedia is a great source! As long as you aren't looking to learn quantum physics, you can bet the info is accurate.
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The MPAA is made up of parents and just normal people with jobs alike whose job is to watch films pre-release and determine the film's rating based on its content.
How do we know if they're biased for the studios? Many rumors have been throw around, but we can't tell because these "parents" (we don't have a way of knowing if they are parents) are anonymous!
PatriotPerson

Con

"Off topic, I know, but why are you censoring your profanity? The little *'s (what are they called?) do not impede my ability to know what you are talking about."
I don't know why exactly, I think it's just because I don't feel very comfortable with saying the full-on, uncensored, words. I don't know what the star-thingies are called.

"We can advertise for movies that contain brutal murder and rape...just don't show them in the scenes in the trailer."
Not really, you can't. You see, movies that contain brutal murder and rape are automatically given an NC-17 rating. Move trailers are required to show and tell what the movie's rating is at the end of the trailer. And since NC-17 rated are movies are forbidden from advertisement on television, it is impossible to even have a trailer shown in the first place.

"And... what is the difference between 16 and 17? Do 17 year olds suddenly have the ability to see someone lit on fire while being eaten alive?
I don't know, bro. I'm not the rating system.

"And directors have the right to make whatever movie they want! Did you know the original Scream was NC-17? Let me tell you, it certainly wasn't any worse than Saw!"
Actually it wasn't. Scream was released in 1996 with an R-rating. The director even tried to avoid an NC-17 rating becaise NC-17 is "box office suicide".

"How do we know if they're biased for the studios?"
Please elaborate on what you mean when you say this.
Debate Round No. 3
Kumquatodor

Pro

I don't know why exactly, I think it's just because I don't feel very comfortable with saying the full-on
That's fine; it is just odd if you think about it.

Like George Carlin said once: you can say "Poopy" and "faeces", but one version of the word is suddenly dirty.
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You see, movies that contain brutal murder and rape are automatically given an NC-17 rating.
You are mistaken. Several horror movies, R, have "Brutal Violence", "Course Language", "Strong Sexual Content", etc, according to the MPAA. So... Why can't we show a trailer for an NC-17?
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I don't know, bro
So... Am I right in that it is lackadasaisical?
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Scream was released in 1996 with an R-rating. The director even tried to avoid an NC-17 rating becaise NC-17 is "box office suicide".

While it was RELEASED with an R, it had to be edited a bit. I know this because I saw a documentary on the film. It was funny, considering that they showed a side-by-side comparison, and there was little difference.

And again, it should not be a group of... (who knows who) deciding that a movie will fail!
__________________________________________________________________________
How do we know if they're biased for the studios?

Several theories circulate that MPAA is easier on studios while independent films are treated harshly, because Paramount/Disney has huge shares in the company. Regardless of whether or not these accussations are true, we have no way of knowing. The people who despense these ratings are anonymous, and thus they are not held responsible!
PatriotPerson

Con

"You are mistaken. Several horror movies, R, have "Brutal Violence", "Course Language", "Strong Sexual Content", etc, according to the MPAA. So... why can't we show a trailer for an NC-17?"
Yes, R rated movies can have those things, but not to the extent of what is seen in an NC-17. These said things are WAY worse in an NC-17 movie. And why you can't show trailers for them? Simple. Like I said, it's because most NC-17 rated movies are either porn or extremely brutal and violent films.
Look up Google Images for the film 100 Tears. That's the kind of violence in an NC-17.

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"So... Am I right in that it is lackadasaisical?
Carelessly lazy? I don't think so.
____________________________________

About the scream being released as R thing, you missed a major part. The director tried to AVOID an NC-17 rating.

________________________________________
"And again, it should not be a group of... (who knows who) deciding that a movie will fail!"
Who cares who is deciding the ratings? As long as the ratings make sense, we shouldn't care.

Debate Round No. 4
Kumquatodor

Pro

Look up Google Images for the film 100 Tears. That's the kind of violence in an NC-17.
That guy has seen better days... Wait... HE STOLE THAT FROM MY BASEMENT! HE TOOK MY STUFF! HE TOOK MY MEATLOAF!

These said things are WAY worse in an NC-17 movie.
It should be the responsibity of some nameless people to decide what movie can hear about. By distributing the NC-17 rating, your giving a letter to an aspiring filmmaker saying "no one will hear about this movie".

The director tried to AVOID an NC-17 rating.
That's not the point; if they didn't try to avoid the NC-17, we would have never seen one of the best horror movies ever! And it becomes even more hilarious when a TV program showed the theatrical and "raw" version side beside... They showed "NC-17" material on TV...

Who cares who is deciding the ratings?
I care because no one is accountable for the ratings they give!

As long as the ratings make sense, we shouldn't care.

Why is it that the Matrix is R for "kung-fu" while The Dark Knight Rises is PG-13 for punching people until they die, dragging them out into the street, and breaking someone's spine?
PatriotPerson

Con

"It should be the responsibility if some nameless people to decide what movie can hear about."
It is. The people are nameless, but the company isn't. And I'm not sure what you meant by "what movie can hear about."

"By distributing the NC-17 rating, your giving a letter to an aspiring filmmaker saying "no one will hear about this movie."
Well der. That's why they call it "Box Office Suicide". Even aside from that, people hear about NC-17 movies. You know, that's why they exist. You can easily find them on services like Netflix or even Redbox and you can find them in pornographic or adult shops.


Ok. Look. The reason why directors avoid NC-17 is because it won't be shown in normal theaters. That's a given. NC-17 is exactly like Ao in ESRB. Most people haven't played or maybe even heard of Ao games, but they still have a successful business because there still is that few who plays them. This is exactly the same with NC-17 rated movies.


"I care because no one is accountable for the ratings they give!"
Um, every single person who works at MPAA is accountable for the ratings. Even the coffee boy that hands about breakfast to the employees.


Instead of quoting and countering Pro's last argument, I will show why the Matrix was rated R and why TDKR was rated PG-13.


The Matrix: This movie was rated R for it's language and rather extreme violence. On IMDB's content advisory, this movie is given an 8/10 for violence, 2/10 for sex and nudity, 5/10 for profanity, 2/10 for alcohol, drugs and smoking, 6/10 for frightening and intense scenes,

The Dark Knight Rises: There is no scoring on each subject for this movie, however it can be read that the subjects in this movie are far better than those in the Matrix.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by imabench 6 months ago
imabench
KumquatodorPatriotPersonTied
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Reasons for voting decision: .
Vote Placed by leojm 6 months ago
leojm
KumquatodorPatriotPersonTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Con Just convinced me in his argument. Pro did have good conduct. The Spelling and grammar along with the sources I shall leave at a tie.