Thursday 1 November 2018

general audiences

On this day in 1968, the Motion Picture Association of America replaced its stringent and interventionist Motion Picture Production Code (the Hays Code after the association’s president Will H Hays) that had been in force since 1930 with a voluntary ratings system, which appealed to filmmakers and cinema-operators and did not smack of censorship and prudishness as much as the previous regime of conduct. Originally the tiers of suitability were:

Rated G: Suggested for General Audiences
Rated M: Suggested for Mature Audiences—parental discretion advised
Rated R: Restricted—persons under sixteen not admitted, unless accompanied by parent or adult guardian
Rated X: Persons under Sixteen Not Admitted

By 1984, the standard included PG-13 (parental guidance suggested—some material may not be suitable for children under thirteen) and in 1990 X (originally not sanctioned by the MPAA) was replaced by NC-17, no children under seventeen admitted. The broad categories have translated to over half of the movies released in the past five decades have garnered an R-rating or higher.