PG-13 movies as of late has taken the spotlight over other movie ratings as the biggest and most profitable category. The problem is that the ratings for PG-13 movies have become too lax in recent years allowing a growing rate of violence and nudity in that specific category.
A movie earns it’s rating through the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) which has a set of following standards for films in order to help parents determine if the content is acceptable for viewing. Supposedly PG-13 ratings are there to indicate that material in the film may not be suitable for children under the age of 13. In that case PG-13 movie could go beyond the PG rating in subject, language, violence, nudity, adult activities, or other elements but should not reach the restricted R rating.
Kyana Knight, 19, a psychology major here at York College spoke about the issue.
“I do think the violence in PG-13 movies have increased over the years with the aspects of nudity and other intense elements,” Knight said. She added more saying “movie ratings usually do not match itself, but because producers want a movie to sell they rate it PG-13 instead of rated R so there’s more people going to watch the movie,” she said.
The World War Z film that came out in 2013 got away with a PG-13 rating. A movie about a United Nations employee in crossways in a world during a zombie pandemic featured extended scenes of soldiers violently mowing down crowds of people with machine guns. Taken which came out in 2008, a story based on creating drug-dependent sex slaves with actor Liam Neeson’s chest stabbing and epic threatening phone call still managed to avoid an R-Rating. Even the American horror remake like The Grudge which had dead bodies, jawless faces and nightmare-inducing specters that all appeared in the movie found it’s way into the PG-13 radar.
According to a research study by researchers from the Kids Risk Project at the Harvard School of Public Health, it appears that they found that violence, sex, and profanity increased in movies between 1992 and 2003. In a 2004 press release Kimberly Thompson, Associate Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management lead the study finds “Ratings Creep”. In her findings results showed the overall increase in explicit content in films rated PG and PG-13.
“Given the possibility of long-term fear and anxieties from children’s exposure to media, physicians should discuss media consumption with presents of young children and the fact that animation does not guarantee appropriate content of children,” Thompson said.
The fact is that PG-13 ratings are too broad now. Katiana Bazile, 19, an English major at Brooklyn College gave her take. “I do believe pg-13 movies are violent but they are rated pg-13 because they have no intense sexual content,” she said. She also mentioned that the content in each film is what separates each movie rating. “I believe that movie ratings are accurate, just think about it would you rather your child see violence or sex screens?”