Check the Box

Chris Dodd

At this year’s CinemaCon, MPAA Chairman Chris Dodd announced his organization’s new ratings system that looks a lot like the old ratings system. The key difference is that they’ll be more prominently featuring the reasons that each film got its rating in an effort to give parents as much information as possible when choosing the right movies for their children. Appropriately called “Check the Box,” the program hopes to get parents to look beyond the incredibly easy, shorthand letter rating in order to see whether a movie is PG-13 because of “implied Medieval violence” or “spectral glimpses of sideboob.” For example. As Mark Deming points out, the increased visibility of specific judgment calls comes on the heels of the MPAA’s meeting with Joe Biden following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. During the loudest calls for censorship, Dodd repeated the MPAA’s “vehement” resistance to any kind of content oversight for filmmakers when it comes to violence.

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