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December 1993


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Christopher Sheid <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 1 Dec 1993 20:43:10 -0600
text/plain (66 lines)
                           MPAA ratings survey
                                Film critics
        My name is Christopher Sheid, and I am conducting a survey on the MPAA
ratings system for a research class at Valparaiso University.  You've probably
already seen my Viewer's Survey, and if you responded, thank you.  You can go
ahead and delete this now, unless you happen to be a film critic.  I'm not sure
if any film critics (newspaper, TV, magazine or whatever) subscribe to this
listserve, but on the advice of my professor I thought I would give it a shot.
        The following survey concerns the MPAA's rating system and its
effectiveness, particularly the new NC-17 rating.  That rating is supposed to
allow filmmakers to release their films without cutting for an R.  Has it
improved filmmakers' freedom in the theater?  The following survey is bare
bones, so as not to take up much time; however, it is fairly self-explanatory.
        I must reiterate that this is for film critics.  To ensure the validity
of the results, please include your name and the publication for which you
work.  Anyone else wishing to fill out a similar survey may complete the
Viewer's Survey also included on this listserve.  If you, a critic, have
already filled out the viewer survey, please fill this one out and let me know
that you filled out another one.  I can keep the names of those surveyed so
that I can toss out any duplicates.
        The following questions may be answered on a scale of 1 = strongly
agree, 2 = agree, 3 = neutral, 4 = disagree and 5 = strongly disagree.  Feel
free to add any additional comments.  Thank you for your time and cooperation.
1.  The NC-17 film rating serves its purpose as                 1 2 3 4 5
    a way for directors to show their films uncut.
2.  The MPAA rating system is a form of censorship.
3.  The MPAA system, overall, is effective in informing
    parents of a film's content and suitability for
4.  Any ineffectiveness in the NC-17 rating is due, at
    least in part, to film companies' refusal to
    release them for fear of lower profits.
5.  Any ineffectiveness in the NC-17 rating is due, at
    least in part, to limited advertising possibilities
    and unwillingness of theater owners to run NC-17 films.
6.   I would approve of a system in which a film's
     contents are listed, but the film is given no
     formal rating.  (I.e. "This film contains graphic
     violence, sexual situations and drug use.")
7.   I would approve of a system in which a film's
     potentially harmful effects on children are listed for,
     parents, but no one is prevented from seeing the
     film.  (I.e. "This film contains violence possibly damaging
     to children ages 3-7.  V:3-7"
8.   I would approve of the removal of any sort of rating system.
9.   I would approve of a system where both R-rated and NC-17 films
     would be available in select theaters.
10.  I agree that children should be legally prevented from
     seeing film denied them by the ratings board.
        So as to avoid unnecessary traffic on the listserve, please send your
responses to my e-mail address at C460SHEID.  You may just send responses to
the questions above, or you may elaborate.  Any additional comments would be
welcome.  Thank you for your time and cooperation.