Ryan Gosling Stands Up Against the MPAA
by Travis Leamons on November 20, 2010


After the fall of Miramax, Harvey and Bob Weinstein have tried to turn fortunes around with The Weinstein Company, but they’ve yet to have a major success. But while they haven’t hit paydirt, Harvey is letting the world know just how much they are behind properties like Blue Valentine, The King’s Speech and The Tillman Story – three films that received ratings of NC-17, R and R respectively by the MPAA.

Awards Daily (via Movieline) has excerpts from Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams that they made to the MPAA ratings board regarding Blue Valentine‘s NC-17 rating:

    RG: “You have to question a cinematic culture which preaches artistic expression, and yet would support a decision that is clearly a product of a patriarchy-dominant society, which tries to control how women are depicted on screen. The MPAA is okay supporting scenes that portray women in scenarios of sexual torture and violence for entertainment purposes, but they are trying to force us to look away from a scene that shows a woman in a sexual scenario, which is both complicit and complex. It’s misogynistic in nature to try and control a woman’s sexual presentation of self. I consider this an issue that is bigger than this film.”
    MW: “The MPAA’s decision on Blue Valentine unmasks a taboo in our culture, that an honest portrayal of a relationship is more threatening than a sensationalized one. Mainstream films often depict sex and violence in a manner that is disturbing and very far from reality. Yet, the MPAA regularly awards these films with a more audience friendly rating, enabling our culture’s desensitization to violence, rape, torture and brutality. Our film does not depict any of these attributes. It’s simply a candid look at the difficulties couples face in sustaining their relationships over time. Blue Valentine opens a door for couples to have a dialogue about the everyday realities of many relationships. This film was made in the spirit of love, honesty and intimacy. I hope that the MPAA will hear our pleas and reconsider their decision.”

The practice on how the MPAA rates films is a flawed system. It was the subject of the documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated. The filmmakers went as far as to reveal who comprised most of the MPAA ratings board as it was then. Let’s just say Casper would fit in nicely.

But Gosling brings up a strong point regarding that the MPAA is perfectly okay with the depiction of women being raped and tortured. What, does the board feel that such a depiction is fantasy in nature and that no viewer will engage in such practices in real life? Sex has been and will always be a more taboo subject in the United States as opposed to Europe and other foreign territories. The board may be trying to protect us from cinematic moments that are more true to life than seeing a billionaire fly around in a red-and-gold suit of armor, but seriously, it’s okay MPAA. You don’t have to shun art and reward commerce.



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Source: Awards Daily

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Travis Leamons

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