My pal, L.A. screenwriter Bruce Feirstein, received a lot of hate mail for his latest New York Observer column imagining new movie ratings by the Motion Picture Association of America, which therefore endears this piece to me. What prompted him was Facing the Giants, that film about the Christian football coach which received a “PG” rating because of “thematic” elements — not drugs, not violence and not sex, but religion. “I’m no prude. I’ve worked on my share of movies with cartoon violence and sexual innuendo,” Bruce writes. “But looking at the MPAA’s decision, I can’t help but wonder if it’s possible to make any film today without it issuing a content warning. Forget about the biblical epics, like The Ten Commandments. I’m thinking about Lassie, where the family sits down to pray before dinner… If the MPAA is going to follow this path, let’s go the whole nine yards (as opposed to the whole hog, which would undoubtedly be offensive to Muslims, Jews and animal-rights activists), and institute the following new, improved movie ratings (about which the MPAA sent the NYO a form letter):
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