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* CensorshipBureau: See OmniscentCouncilOfVagueness. Because the MPAA doesn't want to be perceived as this, they're often hesitant to explain exactly ''why'' they're giving a specific film a specific rating, leaving directors and editors to guess at how much of what to cut for resubmission to reach a target rating. Flat-out asking the MPAA how the film would need to be edited to reach a target rating may or may not work. . . and seems to be more likely to work if it's a studio-backed feature, less likely to work for an independent film.

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* CensorshipBureau: See OmniscentCouncilOfVagueness.OmniscientCouncilOfVagueness. Because the MPAA doesn't want to be perceived as this, they're often hesitant to explain exactly ''why'' they're giving a specific film a specific rating, leaving directors and editors to guess at how much of what to cut for resubmission to reach a target rating. Flat-out asking the MPAA how the film would need to be edited to reach a target rating may or may not work. . . and seems to be more likely to work if it's a studio-backed feature, less likely to work for an independent film.

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* CensorDecoy: Discussed, like many other CensorshipTropes. ''Film/TeamAmericaWorldPolice'' is brought up as an example where the infamous "puppet sex" scene was originally far, ''far'' longer and more explicit than the filmmakers actually wanted, giving them stuff they could cut away to satisfy the MPAA that they didn't want in the film anyway. . . leading to the "Unrated" home video release, which included the full "puppet sex" scene, going far past the point of being funny.
* CensorshipBureau: See OmniscentCouncilOfVagueness. Because the MPAA doesn't want to be perceived as this, they're often hesitant to explain exactly ''why'' they're giving a specific film a specific rating, leaving directors and editors to guess at how much of what to cut for resubmission to reach a target rating. Flat-out asking the MPAA how the film would need to be edited to reach a target rating may or may not work. . . and seems to be more likely to work if it's a studio-backed feature, less likely to work for an independent film.


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* RefugeInAudacity: During the process of submitting the film to the MPAA for a rating, the director flat-out asked the ratings board what they thought of the film itself. The ratings board evaded the question.


* JerkassHasAPoint: The MPAA is rather vilified by the documentary (and based on the specific incidents, not necessarily unfairly), but some of their decisions do make an amount of sense. For instance, not allowing citing of precedent (i.e. Film X had Scene Y and Rating Z; my film has Scene B which is like Scene Y but is getting Rating B), since practices and standards have changed over time. In particular, the creation of the PG-13 rating in 1984, in response to the too-intense-for-PG-but-not-intense-enough-for-R ''Film/{{Gremlins}}'' and ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheTempleOfDoom''. Many PG films released before the creation of the PG-13 rating border on R, with {{Precision F Strike}}s and even nudity (''Film/{{Airplane}}'' is an example, with prominent bare bouncing breasts right up in camera at one point, a shot impossible to include in a PG movie after 1984, and unlikely even in a PG-13).

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* JerkassHasAPoint: The MPAA is rather vilified by the documentary (and based on the specific incidents, not necessarily unfairly), but some of their decisions do make an amount of sense. For instance, not allowing citing of precedent (i.e. Film X had Scene Y and Rating Z; my film has Scene B A which is like Scene Y but is getting Rating B), since practices and standards have changed over time. In particular, the creation of the PG-13 rating in 1984, in response to the too-intense-for-PG-but-not-intense-enough-for-R ''Film/{{Gremlins}}'' and ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheTempleOfDoom''. Many PG films released before the creation of the PG-13 rating border on R, with {{Precision F Strike}}s and even nudity (''Film/{{Airplane}}'' is an example, with prominent bare bouncing breasts right up in camera at one point, a shot impossible to include in a PG movie after 1984, and unlikely even in a PG-13).


* DoWrongRight: The interesting point is made by one of the interviewed filmmakers that a film like, say, ''Film/TheGodfather'', which has fairly sparse but ''very'' brutal violence, gets an R rating, while a ''Franchise/JamesBond'' film, with dozens or hundreds of people gunned down in BloodlessCarnage, gets a PG or PG-13. But since the latter example is inarguably less realistic than the former, it should logically take a more mature mind to realize it as a sanitized and fantastic version of violence, thus sanitized violence should be restricted to more mature audiences while younger audiences should be shown the more realistic version of the horror and consequences of violence.


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* MohsScaleOfViolenceHardness: The interesting point is made by one of the interviewed filmmakers that a film like, say, ''Film/TheGodfather'', which has fairly sparse but ''very'' brutal violence, gets an R rating, while a ''Franchise/JamesBond'' film, with dozens or hundreds of people gunned down in BloodlessCarnage, gets a PG or PG-13. But since the latter example is inarguably less realistic than the former, it should logically take a more mature mind to realize it as a sanitized and fantastic version of violence, thus sanitized violence should be restricted to more mature audiences while younger audiences should be shown the more realistic version of the horror and consequences of violence.

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* DoWrongRight: The interesting point is made by one of the interviewed filmmakers that a film like, say, ''Film/TheGodfather'', which has fairly sparse but ''very'' brutal violence, gets an R rating, while a ''Franchise/JamesBond'' film, with dozens or hundreds of people gunned down in BloodlessCarnage, gets a PG or PG-13. But since the latter example is inarguably less realistic than the former, it should logically take a more mature mind to realize it as a sanitized and fantastic version of violence, thus sanitized violence should be restricted to more mature audiences while younger audiences should be shown the more realistic version of the horror and consequences of violence.


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* JerkassHasAPoint: The MPAA is rather vilified by the documentary (and based on the specific incidents, not necessarily unfairly), but some of their decisions do make an amount of sense. For instance, not allowing citing of precedent (i.e. Film X had Scene Y and Rating Z; my film has Scene B which is like Scene Y but is getting Rating B), since practices and standards have changed over time. In particular, the creation of the PG-13 rating in 1984, in response to the too-intense-for-PG-but-not-intense-enough-for-R ''Film/{{Gremlins}}'' and ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheTempleOfDoom''. Many PG films released before the creation of the PG-13 rating border on R, with {{Precision F Strike}}s and even nudity (''Film/{{Airplane}}'' is an example, with prominent bare bouncing breasts right up in camera at one point, a shot impossible to include in a PG movie after 1984, and unlikely even in a PG-13).


* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: How Creator/TreyParkerAndMattStone's movies ''Film/TeamAmericaWorldPolice'' and ''WesternAnimation/SouthParkBiggerLongerAndUncut'' managed to get away with what they did.

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%% * GettingCrapPastTheRadar: How Creator/TreyParkerAndMattStone's movies ''Film/TeamAmericaWorldPolice'' GettingCrapPastThe Radar: Due to overwhelming and ''WesternAnimation/SouthParkBiggerLongerAndUncut'' managed persistent misuse, GCPTR is on-page examples only until 01 June 2021. If you are reading this in the future, please check the trope page to get away with what they did.make sure your example fits the current definition.


''This Film is Not Yet Rated'', a 2006 {{documentary}} film directed by Kirby Dick, explores the film rating policies in the US in exhaustive detail -- and [[ExecutiveMeddling how those policies affect a film's distribution and overall content before its release]]. (For the record: a ratings board managed by the Motion Picture Association of America, which is a private industry group not officially sanctioned by any government, handles the US film ratings system.)

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''This Film is Not Yet Rated'', a 2006 {{documentary}} film directed by Kirby Dick, explores the film rating policies in the US in exhaustive detail -- and [[ExecutiveMeddling how those policies affect a film's distribution and overall content before its release]]. (For [[note]]For the record: record; a ratings board managed by the Motion Picture Association of America, which is a private industry group not officially sanctioned by any government, handles the US film ratings system.)
)[[/note]]



Oh, and here's the kicker: the filmmakers then submit that version of the documentary to the MPAA ratings board. Though it received an NC-17 rating, the final version of the film ended up released as (and will forever remain) unrated.[[note]]At least in America.[[/note]]

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Oh, and here's Also, here is the kicker: the filmmakers then submit that version of the documentary to the MPAA ratings board. Though it received an NC-17 rating, the final version of the film ended up released as (and will forever remain) unrated.[[note]]At least in America.[[/note]]



* BlatantLies: The filmmakers managed to snag two members of the MPAA appeals board who would speak on camera; one of them insisted on anonymity. The film intersplices the two interviews, which give completely contradictory explanations on how the process works.

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* BlatantLies: The filmmakers managed to snag get two members of the MPAA appeals board who would speak on camera; one of them insisted on anonymity. The film intersplices the two interviews, which give completely contradictory explanations on how the process works.



* GayPanic: In-universe. The film dedicates a brief section to how the MPAA often rates scenes with explicit gay content higher than scenes with explicit heterosexual content, even if the straight version is more explicit than the gay one (e.g. a lesbian [[ADateWithRosiePalms masturbating]] through her bedclothes in ''Film/ButImACheerleader'' risks an NC-17, but Creator/KevinSpacey's character miserably whacking off in the shower in ''Film/AmericanBeauty'' gets an R).

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* GayPanic: In-universe. The film dedicates a brief section to how the MPAA often rates scenes with explicit gay homosexual content higher than scenes with explicit heterosexual content, even if the straight version is more explicit than the gay one (e.g. a lesbian [[ADateWithRosiePalms masturbating]] through her bedclothes in ''Film/ButImACheerleader'' risks an NC-17, but Creator/KevinSpacey's character miserably whacking off masturbating in the shower in ''Film/AmericanBeauty'' gets an R).



* OneJudgeToRuleThemAll: According to many of the interviewed directors, MPAA president Jack Valenti had absolute veto power when it came to ratings decisions. He used it quite often, too.

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* OneJudgeToRuleThemAll: According to many of the interviewed directors, MPAA president Jack Valenti had absolute veto power when it came to ratings decisions. He used it quite often, too.often as well.


* OmniscientCouncilOfVagueness: The film tries to show the MPAA as a RealLife example with an emphasis on vagueness (saying that it's more vague than the {{CIA}}). According to other sources, filmmakers can try to hazard a guess as to why their film received a particular rating and edit accordingly, but... well, to use a popular stereotype as an analogy, the MPAA is like a woman telling her boyfriend that if he doesn't ''know'' what he did to piss her off, [[YouKnowWhatYouDid he doesn't deserve to be told]]. Trey Parker says he received the "vagueness" treatment with his independently-financed comedy ''Film/{{Orgazmo}}'', but got an itemized list of things to tweak when he and Matt Stone submitted the studio-backed ''WesternAnimation/SouthParkBiggerLongerAndUncut'', which initially received an NC-17... and they later regretted only giving an R.

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* OmniscientCouncilOfVagueness: The film tries to show the MPAA as a RealLife example with an emphasis on vagueness (saying that it's more vague than the {{CIA}}).UsefulNotes/{{CIA}}). According to other sources, filmmakers can try to hazard a guess as to why their film received a particular rating and edit accordingly, but... well, to use a popular stereotype as an analogy, the MPAA is like a woman telling her boyfriend that if he doesn't ''know'' what he did to piss her off, [[YouKnowWhatYouDid he doesn't deserve to be told]]. Trey Parker says he received the "vagueness" treatment with his independently-financed comedy ''Film/{{Orgazmo}}'', but got an itemized list of things to tweak when he and Matt Stone submitted the studio-backed ''WesternAnimation/SouthParkBiggerLongerAndUncut'', which initially received an NC-17... and they later regretted only giving an R.


[[caption-width-right:308:Even the DVD cover had to be {{bowdlerized}}.]]

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[[caption-width-right:308:Even the DVD cover had to be {{bowdlerized}}.[[{{Bowdlerise}} bowdlerized]].]]

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*** As investigation showed, most of the censors were ''not'' an "average family" anyway.

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->''"We don't give out that information."''
-->-- '''Joan Graves'''


** Numerous clips of Jack Valenti show him asserting that the members of the board "are neither gods nor fools, just parents" and represent the "average family". Jamie Babbit, the director of ''Film/ButImACheerleader'', wonders if Valenti thought that meant gay and lesbian parents such as herself. [[ForegoneConclusion You can probably guess the answer.]]

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** Numerous clips of Jack Valenti show him asserting that the members of the board "are neither gods nor fools, just parents" and represent the "average family". Jamie Babbit, the director of ''Film/ButImACheerleader'', wonders if Valenti thought that meant [[HasTwoMommies gay and lesbian parents such as herself.herself]]. [[ForegoneConclusion You can probably guess the answer.]]


* ContentWarnings: Part of the film's purpose is to examine which films get which warnings, and why.

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* ContentWarnings: Part of the film's purpose is to examine which films movies get which warnings, and why.


* MoralGuardians: The MPAA says it supposedly has no religious affiliation. Kirby Dick's account of his appeals process, however, says a priest and a Presbyterian minister attended his appeals -- and he never really learned why.

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* MoralGuardians: The MPAA says it supposedly has no religious affiliation. However, Kirby Dick's account of his appeals process, however, process says a priest and a Presbyterian minister attended his appeals -- and he never really learned why.


* ExplicitContent

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* ExplicitContentExplicitContent: Unavoidable, given the subject of the film.

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