24 February 1974 |
Los Angeles Times
Prejudicial Rating System
The movie rating system is prejudicial. Not in terms of how the ratings are applied, but simply in the letters and words used to designate the ratings. "G" is innocuous enough, as are the films with such a rating. "GP" is perfectly OK, because it encourages parental guidance. But then there is "R." The word "restricted" has a certain amount of emotion attached to it, and the moviegoer is immediately faced with the unavoidable question, "Why restricted?" His curiosity is then aroused.
The use of "X" to designate adult fare is the most obviously value-laden term of all. Bootleg liquor was labeled "XXX" in the 20s. Forbidden! In fact, "X" is a universal mark for that which is not fit, undesirable, even dangerous (viz: the skull and crossbones!). I think it is time to devaluate the movie rating marks. I propose a simple "M" for mature audiences (including children with parents) and "A" for Adults only.