Filmmakers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg deliberately larded their upcoming film This Is The End with unbelievably graphic content, in expectation of getting an NC-17 rating. Yet even the directors were flabbergasted when their movie was given an R – more proof of how worthless the current movie ratings system is.
According to the Los Angeles Times, This Is The End contains multiple sex scenes, including one between a demon sporting an enormous erection and a human being. “As long as it’s a demon, you can have an erection?” said Goldberg in astonishment. Rogen stated that he just assumed the MPAA would tell them to cut out scenes of the demon’s genitals — but no one at the MPAA said a word. Instead, the film was given an R rating for “crude and sexual content throughout, brief graphic nudity, pervasive language, drug use and some violence.”
Like many other Hollywood insiders, Rogen and Goldberg are experts at manipulating the Motion Picture Association of America’s film rating board; but this time, no manipulation was needed. The two filmmakers confessed that their plan was to cram in excessive amounts of explicit content — and then, when the MPAA rated the film NC-17, to snip out a tiny bit of the content, thus obtaining a lower rating of R. But the MPAA decided the entire film was fine as is. This is a long-standing game the MPAA has played…and the result has been ever-more graphic content receiving ever-lower ratings, with families and children the victims.
Notably, the story — carried in the Times’ print edition under the title, “What happened to that NC-17?” – has been re-titled on the Times’ website, no doubt in an effort by the LAT to spare the MPAA embarrassment. But it is past time the media stop covering for the utterly ineffective movie ratings system, and start demanding wholesale reform. In response to the news that his movie received an R, even Goldberg himself said, “The whole ratings system in America doesn’t make any sense. They let you get away with sex and with violence…but this is ludicrous.” What does it say about the MPAA, when even a film INTENDED to be rated NC-17 isn’t?