Well, are you philistine censors or what?

 

Censorship is when one suppresses -- or advocates or supports suppressing -- anything one considers objectionable.

We're totally and unequivocally against any form of censorship.

What we do is to provide information about what films contain; objective, comprehensive and accurate information. We're neither suppressing filmmakers' rights to make any film they want, nor do we advocate any film being suppressed, banned or not made.  We're merely providing information about film content, after a film is made and released to the public.

Yet from time to time we do get an e-mail suggesting that the information we provide should be suppressed because it is censorship. The logic escapes us. How can the dissemination of any information be censorship? On the other hand, asking that the information we provide be suppressed because someone doesn't like it...well, that's really an attempt at censorship, ain't it?

Furthermore, it seems to us that the current "official" MPAA ratings system and the movie theater industry that are really routinely practicing censorship: many directors and independent studios are forced to edit movies to get a specific rating, one that will allow a film to get a popular MPAA rating like a PG-13. So, back and forth a film will go to the secretive and mysterious MPAA board that ultimately decides that rating a film is to be assigned. They haggle with the director, arguing about a snip here and an edit there. This is what censorship is, plain and simple, and it's a form of extortion too.

Conversely, our ratings and reviews are not meant to penalize or punish any movie. And they are not negotiable. By providing extremely detailed information on what a movie contains we allow filmgoers to decide for themselves whether to watch a movie or not. We make sure filmgoers are in charge of deciding what's good for them, not a powerful lobbying group with almost extra-governmental powers like the MPAA. Censorship thrives on undisclosed information, ignorance and pressure.

Happily, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees both our right to publish and any filmmakers' right to make any movie they like. And, again happily, under our free enterprise system, information and ideas, whether they are contained within a website or in a movies are free to find their natural market and their natural constituency.


  Critics Inc. All rights reserved. See Terms of Use.