MPAA announces changes for film ratings
The MPAA are going to change the way they operate, and perhaps this is in part down to This Film is Not Yet Rated (Filmstalker review), that superb documentary that really told everyone what these guys were all about and how they were conducting their business - unfairly.
Well it looks like the MPAA have taken note and changed issues which that documentary specifically raised. Josh over at Cinema Blend does a great write up of the points and his views, and it's hard to argue. In fact there's no need to argue, except for more reform from the MPAA.
Here's the specific changes as reported by Variety:
1. A filmmaker who appeals a rating can reference similar scenes in other movies, although the appeals board still will focus heavily on context.
2. CARA (Classification and Ratings Administration operated by the MPAA) will formalize its rule that a member of the ratings board doesn't stay on the board after his or her children are grown.
3. CARA also will formalize its educational training system for raters.
4. When the CARA rules are implemented later this year, the MPAA and NATO will designate additional members to the appeals board who don't come from the MPAA or NATO fold. (Indie filmmakers might be one possibility.)
5. NATO and MPAA will occasionally be able to designate additional observers from different backgrounds to the appeals board.
6. For the first time, CARA will post the ratings rules on the MPAA Web site, describing the standards for each rating. The ratings and appeal processes also will be described in detail, along with a link to paperwork needed to submit a film for a rating.
7. Most members of the ratings board will remain anonymous, although CARA will describe the demographic make-up of the board, which is composed of parents. The names of the three senior raters have always been public; now, they will be posted online.
Those sound like a damn good leap in the right direction. Well done to Kirby Dick who I really do think had a hand in this, it's about time MPAA.
Ratings systems are superb, but they need to be fair and independent, and they need to be rated by a cross section of society with a very clear set of rules for rating. A step in the right direction? What else could be done to push them forward to a fairer system?