MPAA Gives Oscar Fave 'The King's Speech' PG-13 Rating For Removing 2 Swear Words

Everyone is hungry to horn in on the glitz and glamor of the 83rd Academy Awards. Even the Motion Picture Association of America which first went to the media to announce it was giving a PG-13 rating to a slightly altered version of The King’s Speech before the organization even bothered to alert the movie’s U.S. distributor The Weinstein Company. I’ve learned that the Weinstein Co was told that, if 3 of the 5 uses of the swear word “Fuck” were muted, then the pic would receive a lesser rating than its current “R”. No film footage was altered in keeping with director Tom Hooper’s insistence that the stammering king’s pivotal therapy-by-cursing scene not be cut. Deadline initially broke the news that The Weinstein Co was seeking the lower PG-13 film rating in response to educational and church groups who wanted to show the movie. Not to mention that, if this frontrunner for Best Motion Picture does win the Oscar on Sunday night, the Weinstein Co will be able to draw wider and bigger audiences into theaters and thus make more moolah. Especially because the MPAA waived any waiting period.

Here is the MPAA news release:

LOS ANGELES – The Classification and Rating Administration (CARA) has assigned a PG-13 rating to an alternate version of The King’s Speech submitted by The Weinstein Company. The original version of the film is rated R “for some language.” CARA has rated the alternate version PG-13 “for language.” Bob Pisano, President and Interim CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) and John Fithian, President and CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners, have also waived, upon request from The Weinstein Company, a CARA rule requiring a distributor to fully withdraw the original version of the film from theaters for 90-days before replacing it with an alternate version.

The purpose of the 90-day withdrawal period is to avoid public confusion about the rating of a film when there is more than one version introduced theatrically. However, the ratings rules allow the film’s distributor to show the MPAA and NATO that a period less than 90 days is sufficient to prevent confusion in light of circumstances related to the motion picture.

“The movie rating system has endured for more than 40 years because it was designed to evolve not only with societal values, but with the growth and evolution of the motion picture industry itself,” said Pisano. “The Weinstein Company has undertaken a commitment to ensure, through a revised advertising campaign, that it will be clear to consumers that a newly rated version of this film is coming to theaters near them. In this case a waiver is justified.”

Added Fithian, “Given The Weinstein Company’s commitment to advertise and promote the new version of The King’s Speech as a differently rated version, to remove all prints of the earlier version, and given the high profile of the movie, we believe there is little likelihood of confusion among our patrons. We are pleased that The Weinstein Company respected the rating system by creating a different version of their movie and submitting it for proper classification before making it available to a wider audience.”

    1. it’s not so absurd. somewhere i’ve heard the word FUCK is shorten for “Fornication Under the Consent of the King”
      And it’s the King speaking here, if that makes sense.

  1. How ridiculous is this? Why should there be a difference in ratings as to whether “fuck” is said 5 times or 2 times?” As if teenagers under 17 have never heard the word!! Once again CARA proves just how silly the whole thing is!!!!

    1. Some people still do have Christian based morals in today’s society, and are capable of using other words besides just the four letter words. I not saying I’m a better person than you or the others who like using the 4 letter words. My suggestion would be … Try looking beyond yourself. (For the ones who like going out to the movies but don’t enjoy the bad word, or the ones who like buying the movies and don’t like all the sex and violence). Believe it or not… there are still some of us out here. I personally think it is a much better choice by making it PG 13 so others could enjoy it too.

      1. But the thing is, the word fuck IS in the movie. Except that it’s only said twice instead of five times. It’s ridiculous. If, as you said, people don’t enjoy bad language then they STILL won’t be able to see the movie. Surely if the word has already been heard twice, merely repeating it shouldn’t raise the ratings.

        I really don’t understand the American rating system sometimes. You gave the ring a pg-13. Saw VI got an R. Relentless horror torture porn and a movie about a man’s struggle with his speech impediment, with language most 5th graders know used in an appropriate and not gratuitous context, get the same rating? The King’s speech is a 12 here and most other countries.

      2. The Kings Speech is a wonderful movie.however, many of my friends do not see R rated movies for religious reasons and therefore were not able to see this fine movie. For that reason, I like the idea of a lesser rating so it can be enjoyed by a wider audience.

    2. I wonder if the context of the 3 removed fuck words was as in “fucking”, or the act of sex. I could understand if someone found that more offensive than using the word in any other context, i.e. slamming your thumb in a door.

  2. Oh for fuck’s sake! (Memo to Deadline’s moderator: you used the word first). American prudery! 3 of 5 uses are “muted”? So the sound is dropped? Why not just beep it? The King’s Speech is a fantastic film and as I remember it, the word is used by Colin Firth to express his intense frustration at being unable to speak clearly, not as a noun. But yes, just go ahead and destroy the great drama of an Oscar-worthy performance because educational and church groups can’t hack it. Well, fuck them!

    1. As this comment used only two (2) instances of the word “fuck”, it is hereby rated PG-13.


    2. Fuck YEAH! Well said. What the hell ever fucking happened to artistic integrity? I am extremely disappointed in this decision. When the DVD drops, will it be rated ‘R’ or ‘PG-13’?

  3. Wait, a Church group is OK with “fuck” twice? Why, there is a progressive pastor. And I wonder what the religious message of “Kings Speech” is.. or is it more about cramming donuts and coffee down people’s pie holes while you raise money?

    1. Feel better? Proud of yourself?

      Weinstein wants to change the rating to broaden the audience. Why is that “Middle America’s” failing?

  4. To paraphrase the great Green Bay Packer Coach, Vince Lombardi…..”What the HELL (RE:”Fuck”) is going on here?!”

  5. So it’s okay for church groups to hear the F word two time, but 5 is too much? This is absolutely stupid and censorship. Are we not all grown ups here? This is not glengarry glen ross where every word was F this and that.

    This is as crazy as blue valentine(very little nudity) initially getting an nc-17, i finally saw the movie and thought that black swan was more graphic and saw more violent and both got R’s — crazy system.

    1. Um, what are you idiots talking about? The MPAA is not a church group. It’s an industry run group and everyone who works in Hollywood knows that there is a lmit on the number of “fucks” a script can have before you get an R. And it’s two.

      The fact that a bunch of moronic British producers had a total that went over is their fault and no one else’s fault. More importantly, I can not see how for the life of me making a whole new batch of prints can make money for the Weinstein Company. Does anyone really think there are a ton of teens out there that are pounding down the doors to see this flick? I’m guessing the few hundred little cinefiles that wanted to see it have already either gone with their parents, snuck in or hired a local adult to help get them in. This whole thing is stupid. Probably just a way for the Weinsteins to claim expenses and not pay the producers any money.

      1. No, Bill, *you* are the dumbass here. You obviously don’t know, dear Bill, that many church groups and similar bodies categorically forbid their members from seeing R-Rated pictures. No. Matter. What.

        That’s a massive loss of audience for a couple of fucking “fucks,” so the Big W’s, in their marketing brilliance, knew to correct the situation.

        Furthermore, a lot of people want to see this film, Bill, but will not, due to its “R” rating. Family/church types, and so on. I make no judgment about their palette. Just reporting facts.

        And, it’s not about teens, asshole. Is that the only demo you know about, Bill? Teens? As if adults don’t wanna see a fucking movie these days. Idiot.

  6. Two instances of the five F-word utterances are already muted
    hence the logic to mute just the remaining louder three uses.

  7. There needs to be an alternative to the MPAA. they have far too much power and frankly are waaaaay out of touch with society. I am certain that kids today have seen and heard it all. also, how many kids want to see the goddamned King’s Speech anyway?

    1. It’s mostly so teachers can show it to their students without getting fired, I think. And hate them as much as you want, but the MPAA *does* prevent localized censorship boards from springing up that would be much, much worse.

      But, yes, there’s no difference between hearing “fuck” twice or five times. It’s hilariously arbitrary. Parents should take the MPAA’s lead and tell their kids to only have sex twice before marriage. Or only try cocaine a couple of times. Killed five people? You’re a monster. Two? Meh. And it’s a good thing that, while tied naked to a chair, Daniel Craig only got nailed in the balls twice in Casino Royale.

      1. I just want to say, when I was 12, we were shown Schindler’s List in school. We just needed a parental permission slip to be able to see it.

        Whenever anyone tries to stand up for the rating system, I point out Titanic. It might not have been lewd, but Kate Winslet is 100% naked in that movie, and but it got a PG-13 rating. And yet Sleepy Hollow, which has no nudity or curse words and only fantasy gore, got an R rating. The MPAA ratings system is flawed.

        1. God forbid a child should see a boob; they nurse on them in infancy and then afterwards are not allowed to see them. Why not? It’s a taboo in America but I don’t understand why really. I don’t want my children to see violent images when they are young but could care less if they see a pair of breasts.

  8. This is censorship but since it is under the guise of protecting children it accepted. Children who probably have been saying fuck for years. I was saying it as early as the second grade. wise up assholes

    1. Just for clarity sake: This is not censorship. There is no government force behind it, and no one stopping it. This is someone doing another cut of their product for money. This isn’t free speech to begin with, it’s paid for and distributed at a cost which people pay. If you are using speech or content to make money, then cuts and edits are not censorship, they are a means of making money, period. They want more money. They will re-edit. They are not destroying the original version, which will still be around.

      1. censorship |?sens?r? sh ip|
        the practice of officially examining books, movies, etc., and suppressing unacceptable parts

        (Yes, it is censorship.)

        1. No, it’s not censorship, because it’s not forced. WC is doing this in order to make more money. No one is insisting they do this. The film is already out intact. If it were censorship, it wouldn’t be. So, no, this is not censorship. It’s capitalism.

      2. Of course it’s censorship. The government doesn’t have to be involved for it to classify as such. It’s corporate censorship triggered by an archaic ratings board that hasn’t evolved.

    2. Yes, I knew several children like you. Most of them had pot smoking parents too, who also held the weekly Friday night drunk for youths that, by the time I graduated, accounted for seven kids killed one blinded for life, from their “tolerance and diversity” in parenting. The real truth is, any and every kid running amuck with their mouths needed, as many trips behind the woodshed as needed, until the kid turned into something respectable and respecting of the human race. THERE IS NOTHING glamorous, grown up, or even cute, in all you foul mouthed little brats who still need a serious whoopin’!

  9. Fascinating to see the anger here from vulgarians who think their low standards are the only ones society need tolerate.

    What I’d really like to see them try is reading their posts aloud in front of their grandmothers. (SMACK!) Sadly, some of them probably talk like this in front of their kids all the time.

    1. That may or may not be true, but the point here is that it’s ridiculous for the MPAA to think it’s okay for 13-year-olds to hear “fuck” twice but not five times.

  10. BOOOO!! BOOOO to the idiots at the MPAA for their initial R rating, and BOOOO to the producers for slicing and dicing their film in search of the almighty dollar! It’s not like this movie isn’t doing well already, for goodness sakes.

  11. One other thing: Isn’t it also interesting how the same folks see this as an opportunity to let fly with the f-bombs, as though that demonstrated something other than a juvenile predilection for acting out?

    Yes, the ratings system isn’t always consistent, but it doesn’t limit speech either. You can still see the R-rated version to get your full quota of f-bombs. What seems to bother some people about ratings more than anything is that some people have different standards than theirs at all.

    1. It’s the arbitrary nature of the MPAA’s rules that’s bothersome. I would actually prefer that they had a “No F Bomb in PG-13 Movies” rule over their current “2 is totally OK but any more than that is an automatic R.”

  12. Its amazing that a film as kind hearted as the Kings Speech gets an R, yet The Roommate and Battle: Los Angeles, packed end to end with outrageous violence are pg13. Middle America isn’t the problem, its the MPAA and their baffling, unpredictable “system” lead by a chosen few who speak not for middle America, or the coasts, but for themselves. And we all just have to take it.

  13. @Jake I partly agree with what your saying, but I strongly beleive the MPAA like the FCC tows the line with the middle and/or the right wing agenda.

    Like you stated they seem to have no problem whether it be on TV or Film that someone gets his head blown off, but if someone utters something what the middle considers obscene or there is a little skin shown they are up in arms and the shackles get thrown on.

    It’s a very sad thing to say, but this country is going backwards and quickly. Anyone who is in any way progressive is tagged a liberal, socialist, or whatever other name they can think of.

    What I don’t understand is why either the FCC or MPAA exsist. Who are they to pass judgement. That should be left to the individual. It’s really simple; If you don’t like it, don’t watch or listen and stop trying to force what you think is right or wrong down our throats, because you are the ones that are the real problem.

  14. Ummmm … who cares?

    Honestly, who cares? No one forced the Weinstein company to change their movie. No one’s forcing the churches to not show it unless it’s changed (or to show it at all). Certainly, no one’s stopping theatergoers from buying tickets to the R-rated version (how much money has it made already?). And finally, an R-rating hasn’t kept it from winning any awards. Everything that is happening and has happened is completely voluntary.

    So, really, who cares?

    Oh, by the way? “The American President”, early 90’s, had the f-word at least three times, none of which were “speech therapy” scenes. Just sayin’.

  15. They should have cut the two “fucks” but added a random scene of torture porn in the middle of the second act.

  16. I honestly don’t believe religious groups will show/promote this film with those words in it. I’m all for being without censorship, but don’t you ever think about tv edits? Think about it. They have to edit to show it on tv so why not remove all s & f words and make it completely suitable?

  17. Sex in all forms- showing fucking, or even saying “fuck”-gets an “R” from CARA.

    Violence in many forms-shootings, car chases, fights-gets an “PG 13” from CARA.

    MPAA created CARA to police itself.
    CARA’s role is to appease/mollify two politically powerful groups: the Congressional Republican Lobby and Conservative (Fundamentalist) Church Groups.
    These two groups HATE kids viewing anything sex-related.
    At the same time, these two groups don’t mind at all kids viewing violence.

    While CARA gives an “R” to the most graphic violence, it routinely gives an “PG13” to all sorts of violent mayhem.

    MPAA made a pact with these two right-wing groups:
    CARA will put YOUR stamp of approval on Hollywood’s movies, and in return, leave us alone.
    We’ll keep kids away from fucking, as long as we can show them violence.
    That’s why 90% of the PG13 contain violence, and none show or imply fucking.

    That’s the truth about CARA and its politically charged ratings system.
    MPAA won’t admit this.

    “Fuck” is “R”
    “Kill” is “PG13”

  18. The rationale here is just baffling. What’s so uniquely vulgar about the third instance of “fuck”? Does it make Beetlejuice appear or something?

  19. The MPAA is an absolute and utter joke. Explain to me again why we tolerate this Board of idiots? No transparency, no rhyme, no reason no sense. Why don’t we just go back to 8mm home movies?

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