The Instigator
shereef100
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
16kadams
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

The MPAA rating system is a useless entity

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
16kadams
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/13/2012 Category: Education
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,459 times Debate No: 23582
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (4)

 

shereef100

Pro

The MPAA rating system is a useless entity that has not accomplished it suppose mission, which is keep parents informed of content of a movie.
16kadams

Con

The MPAA rating systems goal as outlined by my opponent is to rate films G, PG, PG-13, R, etc. My opponent does get that correct.

Now, my opponents case fails as it argues the rating has "no effect". But this makes no sense, you ask any kid (well most) and these kids that where 6 years old probably did not watch R movies. The MPAA creates a situation where the parents can easily see if it is age appropriate, or what they feel is age appropriate for their kids. As the MPAA notes: "The MPAA wants to help parents make informed decisions about what their kids are watching whether it's in the theater, at home or online. We've pulled together a guide for parents to learn more about film, TV and video game ratings as well as how to avoid dangers in the online environment. "[1] The MPAA and their ratings also talk about piracy, the rating talks about pornography (a rated G movie wont have pornography) etc. Saying the MPAA is useless is not defensible, as already I have proved it has some effects.

The MPAA rating DOES NOT show if the movie is "good" or bad. The rating gives parents an idea of what content based on how appropriate the movie is. The MPAA gives a before hand peak. If it is rated R for violence, parents know there will be violence in there. If its rated G for general audiences they will be able to know its appropriate for anyone. As the MPAA notes: "Movie ratings provide parents with advance information about the content of films, so they can determine what movies are appropriate for their young children to see. Movie ratings do not determine whether a film is "good" or "bad." They simply provide basic information to parents about the level of various elements in the film, such as sex, violence and language so that parents can decide what their children can and cannot see." [2] This means the ratings give a clear message to parents, does my kid want to watch this? Well maybe, but what do I feel. Do I want to watch this? The MPAA rating is very useful to parents. And the best part: the ratings are selected by parents too.

On November 1st, 1968, the modern system was born. It now still exists and flourishes today, and keeps parents informed. "More than 40 years later, the rating system endures and evolves as a useful and valued tool for parents and an essential guardian of Americans' freedom of artistic, creative and political expression."[3]

1. http://www.mpaa.org...
2. http://www.mpaa.org...
3. http://www.mpaa.org...
Debate Round No. 1
shereef100

Pro

The MPAA Rating System
Over the years, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has played a vital role into parent's mind-sets when taking their child to watch a movie. The reason that this occurs can be explained by examining the year 1966, a year when Jack Valentine, who worked in Leyden Johnson's administration, took over the MPAA becoming its chairperson. He soon established, in 1968, the contemporary known ratings: G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17. Jack Valentine stated in the MPAA website that their mission is "To provide advance information for parents about the content of movies… [and to] reveal the level of various elements in the movie such as sex, violence and language in order for parents to make informed decisions". However, how does the MPAA calculate what is appropriate for a child to see on the big screen? Furthermore, the MPAA rating system, which was intended to help parents, has done the opposite. It has made it more difficult for parents to understand what is appropriate for their child to watch resulting, in the MPAA becoming a useless entity in the movie industry.
The MPAA rating system does not have a precise measurement to explain the amount of violence in a particular rating for a movie making parents worrisome to take their child to a certain movie. Harvard researchers found that ‘G' rated animated movies have become violent over the decade, exposing children to significant turmoil and they discovered when examining seventy-four animated movies released since 1937, which had received a G-rating, contained at a least one instance of violence and that forty-six (more than half) featured depictions of death. If a parent saw this study, they should be alarmed for a number of reasons, mainly because this shows that the MPAA rating system is not keeping parents informed of exactly the content of a movie. Furthermore, according to the MPAA website rated G means, "Nothing that could offend parents for viewing by children." However, the researchers found that there are depictions of violence and death demonstrating that the MPAA rating system is not directing parents of this issue, showing that this entity is useless because they do not accomplish they supposed "mission", which was started in the introduction.
In addition, the MPAA, lack consistence when rating movies does not help parents' in making decision for their child, quite the contrary, leaves them more confused about a particular film. For instance, in 2012, the movie Hunger Games came out, which "centers on teenagers killing each other for survival. [In addition] the gory slaying of minors takes place on live television for the inhabitants of the unrealistic world to witness." 1 The movie received a PG-13, from the MPAA, which left parents in disarray because of the content of the film when comparing with the movie Bully, which received a rated R for few curses. One parent said, "You can kill kids, you can maim them, you can torture them [in a movie] and still get a PG-13 rating, but if they say a couple of bad words, you blame them." This not only shows the MPAA their lack of consistence when rating movies, but their lack of reasoning. Parents did not understand how this could have been done and are hesitant to trust in the MPAA rating system. Illustrating that this entity is hurting parents decision-making not helping them, so why have this entity.
I have commented on the how the MPAA rates films or lack of, but this paragraph will concentrate on the contradiction of this entity, which they said in their mission that they serve the parents. In 2008, Joan graves, the current chairperson of the MPAA, wrote a handbook that said that the MPAA "is an entity made for parents by parents." However, she contradicts this statement because she says, afterwards, that MPAA" has consistently maintained near 80% approval rating among stakeholders it exists to serve". The keyword in this statement is stakeholders, which leaves a person to ask why this particular group matters for a chairperson of the MPAA, if they are supposedly serving the parents. This is just another reason why this entity is an unserviceable for parents, making it not worth having around if they are going to serve stockholders.
Consequently, the MPAA was made for parents but has made parents' jobs of taking care their child that much difficult. The MPAA does not help parents understand exactly the violent contend that a movie might contain or what each rating might entail. They also do not help when relying on their previous ratings because the MPAA lack consistence with their ratings. On another note, they say they represent the parents of the United States, but they contradict themselves when they say the approval rating system is great among stockholders leaving one to ask whom do they serve. Nevertheless, this entity has a lot of power and does influence our society heavenly. I believe in the next 20 years this entity will have to answer to the parents, if the parents decide to take action. Afterwards, the only issue now is to figure out did we ever really needed a MPAA rating system?
16kadams

Con

My opponents first paragraph is more of the MPAA's goal, so lets proceed to the next paragraph.

My opponent next claims that 'G' movies tend to have violence etc. Before I dispute this, we can also ask this: MPAA ratings are chosen by parents. So the actual grades (G -> R) will stay the same, but those meanings will likely change through a different society. The boards of people who rate the films are adults and PARENTS, not always linked to the MPAA itself. [1] "CARA assigns a rating to each motion picture. CARA assigns the rating the Rating Board believes would best reflect the opinion of most American parents about the suitability of that motion picture for viewing by their children. When CARA assigns a rating, it also provides a rating descriptor for that rating in order to better inform parents of the elements of the motion picture that caused the motion picture to be given that rating."[1] So my opponent fails to realize this. Now lets assume he is right, ok? If we assume he is correct we can still assume this is being done at other parents consent. The actual rating may change, as society changes. (we are a lot more violent in movies these days). So based on societal norms these "bad" ratings are still following societies footsteps, and therefore actually fit the definition of G according to many parents. Also, the majority of films are rated appropriately. Many films have violence, but either to no large extents (and can end up G or PG depending on if there is drug or sex references, then it stays 13 or R) and is actually generally fairly accurate. Further the reasons for each movies ratings are usually listed on the movie box. [2] So some of these G movies have very little or moderated violence which PARENTS choose is ok for kids to watch.

My opponent then argues the hunger games was poorly rated as it had a PG-13 movie when he thinks it deserves R. But first his opinion fails as I listed above ratings values WILL change over time with societies standards always changing. And again, it has reasons for its PG-13 Rating. The lower grade the more inappropriate it is. It scored a B-, MPAA said it was PG-13, but its other grades on violence sex etc where mainly C's and B's. Violence D.[3] For a 13 year old, this is ok. Most 13 year old's in our society are ok with violence, thats just our culture.

My opponent then claims that saying they are mainly made up of parents and having approval is contradictory. No its not, not at all, you are using semantics with this. ALL of the ratings are selected by parents mainly. [1] Having approval of other officials is not contradictory. How about this. Oil company said they are mainly geologists, but the EPA supports them too. Is that contradictory? Even if we assume the EPA has people working there? No, because the decisions are being approved by officials, NOT CHOSEN by them. You misinterpreted the whole thing. Further, Joan actually runs surveys among PARENTS to also hear complaints etc. They fix problems. As she said: "We do run surveys from time to time and focus groups in areas across the country. We ask objectively how parents feel about certain things, including language, so we know we’re not just hearing from the complainers. I do hear from a lot of parents via email and on the phone, sometimes letters. And what I want to do is make sure that I’m getting the right information, not just hearing from the people who are overly conservative. So, we do try to keep on top of it with surveys and focus groups."[4]
This enforces my point, society changes so they try to keep up with it. If 90% say more violence is ok they may lax more on those areas. The point is the rating stays the same, but what the rating means is subjective to societies view. So the MPAA tries to keep informed to tell if it is ok, and they do. So their ratings are consistent with parents.

My opponents last paragraph is a summary, no need to refute it.

CONCLUSION:

All of my opponents points are unsupported statements. I have already shown through facts the MPAA's rating says up with societies. I recommend this point to be looked into the last paragraph. The ratings are chosen by parents, and receive approval by shareholders. (shareholders DO NOT chose the rating) I have shown the rating system is not "useless", my opponent still has the BOP and has failed to fulfill it. These ratings do a few things:
a) make basic guidelines of what is inside the movie (drugs, sex, violence, language, etc)
b) Therefore inform parents

My opponent has failed to meet the BOP, he has ALL of it, therefore I urge a CON vote.




___________
1. http://www.filmratings.com... (use the full PDF)
2. http://www.filmratings.com...
3. http://parentpreviews.com...
4. http://kidstvmovies.about.com...
Debate Round No. 2
shereef100

Pro

Now, i want to understand clearly what you are trying to say. You said parents and adults make the MPAA. then you say that society influences how things are rated. yes this does seem valid argument , however, now you are assuming that film ratings are strictly influenced from society. Could it not be that society is influenced by these ratings. let me remind you, that my argument about Hunger games is not to say that they didnt deserve rated R but that compared to the Documentary bull, which got a Rated R because a few curses. Do you approve of that.
Another thing you fail to mention was that the MPAA rating system is funded from large studious. So dont you think that the MPAA have to adhere to these movies like hunger games, which came from big studios. The funny thing you are quick to point out that there are adults and PARENTS in these boards that rate films. But do you know we are the only country in the world that keeps our board secret. Now how pathetic is it to hear from the chairman the reason for this is because this will relieve pressure from big studious to persuade the parents. But if the parents are in it for the better intention then why does it matter? Does the MPAA do not trust the outside wolrd. Well, why should we ever trust them. I say kick them to the curve look at the internet they have no rating system. LOOk the world is still standing. The MPAA is a useless entity because they make themselves seem to be an important organization when they are just trying to seem important. Sure you got me when you said parents do use the mpaa rating as a guide. BUT DO ALL PARENTS ACROSS THE U.S. use their guide. Matter of fact. I tried prove to you this organization lack to help people to see directly what is precisely being objected.

SOURCES
http://www.imdb.com...

Sylveste, S. (1999) MPAA ratings system gets F from critics, filmmakers. Retrieved from http://articles.cnn.com...
Graves, J. (2008) The movie rating system: Its history, how it works, and its enduring value. Retrieved from www.mpaa.org
Jacobson, J. (2000) 'G' isn't always 'good' for kids. Retrieved from http://www.media-awareness.ca...
Ann, A. (2007) The case for and against the mpaa. Retrieved from http://articles.cnn.com...
Toone, T. (2011) MPAA ratings: Organization says it's 'for parents by parents,' but critics question system. Retrieved from http://www.deseretnews.com...
David, B. (2011) As "The King's Speech" receives a new PG-13 rating. Retrieved from http://www.hollywoodreporter.com...
Chetwynd, J. (2006) Escaping "r" bondage. Retrieved from http://www.media-awareness.ca...
16kadams

Con

My opponent is trying to reverse my argument from ratings move with society to society moves with ratings. This makes no logical sense. When people are creating a rating for, oh, my little pony they will likely say will my kid care that they are singing this song? They will not likely think oh this needs to be rated R because its gay. No, they go based on language and what parents PARENTS THINK (society changes what they think). If anything it is a both way thing, as if the rating change due to society society will adapt. So if anything, the rating goes one way the other goes another.

My opponent here is saying look lets compare this to a documentary. One got rated R the other PG-13. I have watched the movie kings speech, it has very very vulgar language. Some (most) parents would disprove. It is rated 'R' for language.

My opponent fails in the argument on producers as it does not look at how they are paid. "In turn, the board is funded by film distributors and producers, who pay a fee to have their films rated."[1] Its not like political lobbying, its like paying for any other service.

Keeping rating board members is not bad at all, its basic decency and privacy. You also point out only the US keeps it secret, but this helps my case as you never said in the resolution nor your round 1 statement that this debate was limited to the US. Hence this point fails to hurt the MPAA in other countries.

My opponent then goes on a tangent that seems to have little backing behind it, mainly an opinion rant like a low quality blog. So I will not even refute it.

My opponent still has the FULL BOP yet has failed to refute my case (drops much of it) and as he has the full BOP still fails to prove it is fully useless...

1. http://parentpreviews.com...
Debate Round No. 3
shereef100

Pro

My opponent has now said I gone in a rant and that I did not include that this only not about USA because did not mention that. Yes you are right about these statements. However, let me clarify that your statement of parents being the board room in round 2. You said that they are there and later on round 3 that they should be keep secret. But, if you do not know these members how can you even state that they are parents, let a lone in the best interest of all parents like this is even possible. Answer Me this please HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT these supposed "parents" get the right rating that a majority of parents agree with. OFCOURSE THEY CANNOT you know why? because the MPAA board do not conduct surveys, they do not go state to state asking people about how they are doing their job. You know what they do they state on their website MPAA.org that " the MPAA as 80 percent approval rating among STAKEHOLDERS" If the MPAA are representing stakeholders WHY HAVE THIS ENTITY. This organization wants to seem important BUT THEY ARE NOT EVEN close to importance in this society, on the contrary, they made everyone believe that they are. SHOW ME empirical studies where they found about the usefulness of these ratings. I have shown in ROUND 1 that there is evidence that these ratings a re inaccurate in the 'G' article I stated ROUND 1.
16kadams

Con

My opponent shows he has not read my argument, I claimed his last paragraph was a rant (cant tell if its a blob or a paragraph) because he mainly argued red herrings and subjective opinions.

My opponent then claims my views on if the board should be kept secret refutes my point, but contrary. Your argument was secret boards are bad, I refuted this as I proves ALL boards outside the US where not secret. Hence your argument is refuted. And my views on whether it should be secret apply to US MPAA meetings. My opponent has mainly dodged the argument and tries to twist the meanings to benefit him.

My opponent then argues the parents ratings to not go with the majority, but fails to look at my former arguments of the MPAA takes surveys of parents and fixes the problems so that they do fit the majority opinion. [1] My opponent ignores this fact, again: "Parents decide the ratings. An independent board of parents rates each film. Their job is not to determine if a movie is "good" or "bad," but to rate each film as they believe a majority of their fellow parents would rate the film — taking into account sexuality, violence, language and other factors. The purpose of the ratings system is to provide clear, concise advance information to parents about film content so parents can determine what movies are appropriate for their kids while preserving freedom of expression for filmmakers and the film industry."[2]

My opponent has failed to argue having an approval is "bad". A stakeholder is merely someone who gets affected by a large amount by that companies action. [3] And their support is vital to its living. This is not bad, ALL or MOST companies have this in their system, this means all companies are bad. My opponent still has not defended his faulty reasoning. ALL companies represent stakeholders, hence your argument means all entities need to be banned. Further, most of the stakeholders we are talking about are the parents that are elected to the ratings boards and the people themselves. Most parents support the MPAA. So the point is, your argument here is flawed and is mainly a red herring.

My opponent is then trying to cause me to source load on how "g" movies are accurate etc. Showing a source is not an argument, I have learned this over time. One study, though as my opponent is so eager, shows the MPAA is good at reducing drugs, sex, and language and is good at regulating those, but fails in preventing violence. www.annenbergpublicpolicycenter.org
So it prevents all things, and as society is welcoming of violence I see no problem of this.

CONCLUSION:

My opponent still has he FULL BOP, and has failed, in all cases. I have clearly make room for a lot of doubt in his points, hence a CON vote is still warranted.

1. http://kidstvmovies.about.com...
2. http://www.mpaa.org...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 4
shereef100

Pro

I see that my opponent argues that it is not the fault of the MPAA but our soceity. However, the board members of the MPAA bring in biasness from their own areas of life. Take for instance, Joan Grave the previous chairman for the MPAA, she is conservative. The final ratings go through her and this means if she has a background of being conservative she is going to usally tend to keep movie ratings the same. You contradict yourself by saying the ratings do change overtime due to soceity. It is actually the board members biasness that contriubtes to faulty ratings.
16kadams

Con

My opponent misinterprets my argument. Before I proceed here is a video:

Ok lets proceed. I never argued the actual problem was society, rather the ratings actual meaning is subjective towards parents. In today's society, everyone sees violence my 10 year old sister watches R movies (if the only reason is the violence). The point is mild violence in kids shows (you know like kung fu panda or something) is alright in societies standards. You have failed to see my argument.

Then my opponent again goes on lists on how the boards are biased. Every board that rates somethings are bias, people reading books and writing reviews are bias, so anything with a bias is now useless. Some bias is good, they generally are biased towards drugs, sex, and language. Violence has some bias but is slightly less moderated. My opponent has failed to show the MPAA prevents sex language etc in to movies. As stated, if there was no rating parents might bring their kids to movies full of sex or drug references. So these "biases" prevent people from being exposed to this stuff. Also having a conservative leader means more STRICT MORE STRICT ratings, hence it should be beneficial.

Now my opponents points are refuted, my opponent drops these arguments:

> Movie ratings generally prevent drugs, sex, and language from kids movies
> Stakeholders
> How the MPAA ratings are surveyed and therefore generally in touch with society
> Board members/raters parents
> How the movies he cited where rated wrongly where actually rated correct in MPAA standards and with society
> Producers paying to have their films to be rated is not political lobbying, they are paying for a service (my opponent argues lobbying, refuted round 3)
> Privacy of board members
> Never responded to BOP, hence has the full BOP
> Help make guidelines to prevent people from watching inappropriate things (r2)
> Inform parents (r1-2)
> Great tool for parents

I missed a few from round 1, but this is the whole debate. My opponent makes red herrings which I refuted and then at then he tries to funnel the debate on one issue that he has a chance at winning: How the MPAA is bias with society. I have refuted this last and this round, hence the only issue he was banking on was refuted. As my opponent drops almost all of the argunments in the debate, argunments to con are warented. To make a summary:

S/G - My opponent int he early part of the debate using text massage language, no capital I's. Neglects to put spaces in between paragraphs. Point to CON.
Arguments - My opponent dropped nearly single argument in this debate
Conduct - You choose, I think its tied.
Sources - We both had sources, tied.

CONCLUSION:

See above, 4-0 for CON, vote con
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
VK obviously forgot pro dropped every single ARGUMENT
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Mrparkers 5 years ago
Mrparkers
shereef10016kadamsTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro dropped arguments, and his last round didn't do much to help him.
Vote Placed by ConservativePolitico 5 years ago
ConservativePolitico
shereef10016kadamsTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Throughout the debate, neither side really truly got into their own arguments or countered each other's but did an awkward dance around the subject. It was a poor showing over all. However, in Round 5 Pro dropped many of Con's arguments and finished extremely weak leaving many points unanswered going into the end therefore Con gets the arguments.
Vote Placed by InVinoVeritas 5 years ago
InVinoVeritas
shereef10016kadamsTied
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's argument basically stood by the end. Con used more sources. I disagree with the prior voter about the conduct point; Pro did not technically forfeit.
Vote Placed by Viper-King 5 years ago
Viper-King
shereef10016kadamsTied
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Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: More sources to Con. Pro forfeited last round. Pro had better arguments.