Evan Rachel Wood launched a series of (rightfully) angry tweets at the MPAA last week, after discovering that they had forced director Frederik Bond to edit out a particular scene in his new film, "Charlie Countryman," in which Wood receives oral sex from her male co-star, Shia LaBeouf. Had the scene been left in, the film would have received an NC-17 rating, something that many filmmakers try to avoid as it seriously limits their audience and the film's distribution. Complying with the changes, Bond was able to secure an R rating.
Here's what Wood said of the edits:
If you saw the 2006 documentary, This Film Is Not Yet Rated, you know that the MPAA is made up of a group of representatives from six different movie studios whose identities are kept secret. These anonymous people decide what constitutes as 'R' and what constitutes as 'NC-17,' and the rulings are as politically charged as they are arbitrary.
According to the Huffington Post, the MPAA will give a film an R rating if it has:
-Decapitation via chainsaw
-Two heterosexual people naked in the military position
-A 55 year-old man masturbating in the shower
And these things push the film over to NC-17:
-Two homosexual people making out
-A teenage girl masturbating with all of her clothes on.
Blue Valentine (2010) was initially rated NC-17, (also for a cunnilingus scene!) until the producers fought to change it, so it looks like we're back to our puritanical ways as a society. Clearly, there are many injustices here, and it's reassuring that Wood spoke out about it. Let's hope her tweets have an impact on the future of censorship.
Thanks to the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and Junkee
Image via NC Film News
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