LOS ANGELES ? If Nicolas Cage lights a cigarette in a movie, Hollywood’s ratings
board should respond as if he used a profanity, according to authors of a new study
that criticizes glamorous images of smoking in movies rated for children under 17.
Urge Smoking-Related Film Rating
Industry Resists Calls to Use Ratings to Minimize Kids’ Viewing of Cigarettes in
May 11, 2004 — Lawmakers called on the film industry to use its rating system to
warn parents of depictions of smoking in movies, amid growing evidence that the
portrayals make children an adolescents more likely to smoke.
I think this R rating for smoking idea is deliberately extreme because controversy
gets discussions going. Do I personally think that there should be advisories or
restrictions placed on movies with smoking? If we do that, we need to put advisories
up for binge drinking, promiscuous sex, and a myriad of other negative behaviors.
I think the whole ratings system needs to be revamped. Age-based ratings don’t take
into account the highly variable maturity of children and shifts parenting away
from parents. A better idea might to put codes on shows based on particular acts
shown, such as drug use, harsh language, nudity, sexual acts, etc. Let parents decide
what’s best for their children. If the MPAA doesn’t want to break down the sinful
content of movies, then a Christian ratings organization should be formed. Perhaps
rating codes could be based on which commandment is broken or which deadly sins
are displayed (pride envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed, sloth).