Washington has no business in movies

FNNM Columnist: Kevin Wilson

Mid-term elections are still about four months away, but I’ve got all the advice you’ll ever need. Elect them all back.
Elect them all back because it’s evident that every major problem facing the United States today has been solved.
Wait, what’s that you say? Your problems still exist?
My fault. I jumped to conclusions when I saw a story two Saturdays ago about a congressional investigation into why “Facing the Giants” received a PG rating instead of a G rating. I figured if Congress was dealing with that, everything else was solved.
Last month, the Motion Picture Association of America gave the “Parental Guidance” rating to “Giants,” a story about a high school football coach who teaches his players about the power of God on and off the field. The MPAA has since received more than 15,000 pieces of correspondence from citizens and lawmakers that it should have issued the “General Audiences” rating amid accusations it is penalizing “Giants” because of religion.
“This incident raises the disquieting possibility that the MPAA considers exposure to Christian themes more dangerous for children than exposure to gratuitous sex and violence,” U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said in a letter to MPAA Chairman and CEO Dan Glickman.
I won’t get into the public outcry, because I could rant all day about the absurdity of a handful of people who have seen a movie being told what to think by thousands who haven’t.
What bothers me is a grandstanding government telling Hollywood and the MPAA how to operate when neither are federally funded.
But Kevin, what about all those Hollywood know-it-alls that won’t shut up about politics, you ask? It’s simple. People in Hollywood pay taxes and vote and have every right to hold elected officials accountable.
Hollywood is right to be mad when lawmakers like Blunt take powers millions of voters give them and use those powers to impose personal value systems.
According to spokeswoman Burson Taylor, “Mr. Blunt does continue to have questions about the process by which ‘Facing the Giants’ was rated and what that says about ratings … in general.”
And according to columnist Kevin Wilson, “Mr. Blunt should start having questions about the process by which Enron cheated investors and workers out of billions of dollars, or questions about how Ford announced plans to cut 40,000 American jobs while managing to pocket $250 million through the Jobs Creation Act of 2004.”
Since I’ve still got the floor, let’s throw this out there. My theory is the movie got a PG rating because that’s standard for movies involving football, one of our most violent sports. Consider three value-based movies with football as the medium — “Remember the Titans,” “Rudy” and “Little Giants.” All three received a PG rating. One could argue the critics want “Facing the Giants” to receive special treatment, a G rating that eludes most football movies, because of its Christian-centered message.
Maybe this would be worth getting angry about if there was really a cognitive difference in a G rating and a PG rating. The parents who take their kids to a G-rated movie are the same parents who will take their kids to a PG-rated movie if they think the movie carries a good message.

If anything, “Facing the Giants” has received a huge jump in publicity thanks to the priorities of people like Blunt — and the producers are milking the victim role for all it’s worth in box office totals.

To me, arguing about the difference between whether a movie is “G” or “PG” is kind of like arguing over whether a movie is rated “X” or “XXX.”

In either case, I don’t want to know the difference, and I don’t want my tax dollars being spent on discovering it at the expense of a comprehensive illegal immigration plan, finding a way to take our troops out of harm’s way in Iraq or making sure I’m not paying into a Social Security program that will go bankrupt before I retire.

Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico. He can be reached at 763-3431, ext. 313, or by e-mail:
kevin_wilson@link.freedom.com