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.
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.