The Instigator
Pro (for)
4 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

The MPAA Rating System Should be altered

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/18/2013 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,260 times Debate No: 36789
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




I believe that the MPAA should be altered.

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

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


I accept this debate. I look forward to hearing your issues with the current system.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting.
Hasta la vista, MPAA?

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. 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.
More or less?

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).
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 lower rating. Why? Umm... I dunno. There was some blood at the end... Umm... A few f-bombs... Wait, you can have f-bombs in a PG-13, so... 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.
Who are you? Not Batman!
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 Conservatives. Whether or not this theory is true is irrelevant; what the point is that these people are not held accountable.

With their lack of accountability, they can be biased against indie films, like many claim they are.
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. Who is prescribing the poisen? I dunno. We aren't told!


Jojodancer forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


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Debate Round No. 3




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Debate Round No. 4


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Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by donald.keller 5 years ago
All I can say is that I'm glad you weren't for the elimination of the NPAA. They literally restrict no rights, and make kids need parent approval to watch a movie the parent might not approve of (this empowers the right of the parent. The child still has the right to watch the movie so long as the parent approves. Which is good)... That's what we need, more laws that empower the parent.

They don't tell you you can't watch the movie. The idea that they do is typically teenage victim mentality. They simply insure you aren't doing it against your governing parent's approval.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Chrysippus 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro made fairly convincing arguments to show the inconsistency and arbitrary nature of film ratings, and made claims of the opaqueness of the MPAA. These all stand uncontested, as Con never showed up. Conduct and arguments to Pro.