Is a Rating System Censorship, or Truth in Advertising?

Apparently, movie critic Tom Shales thinks that Jack Valenti is practicing censorship by insisting upon ratings for movies. He claims that he harms the work of “serious filmmakers who tackle challenging themes.” He’s very upset that an orgy scene in “Eyes Wide Shut” has been blocked from view by a few clothed participants.

To not tell viewers what they are going to be paying good money to go see, would be like allowing food manufacturers to keep the ingredients off a container of food, or keep the cancer warning off the side of a carton of cigarettes.

He whines about the anonymous people who sit on the panel of raters of the Motion Pictures Association of America as “people with no credentials . . .. [who] dictate to the rest of the country.”  Tom, if they are anonymous, how do you know they have no credentials?

But if he is so concerned about censorship in America, he should begin rallying immediately for a complete and thorough teaching of the Bible… or maybe even an uncut film version.

Now that would cause a real conflict in the ratings world. This is Nina May reminding Tom, that there is nothing new under the sun, even in an uncut version of “Eyes Wide Shut.”