Hollywood’s latest sequel can’t be seen on the big screen but in court of public opinion.
Movie mega-producer Harvey Weinstein is battling the ratings board–again–over the “R” designation applied to his latest Oscar-bait film.
Philomena, a critically hailed drama starring Judi Dench, got an R rating allegedly for a pair of F-words heard in the film. Now, Weinstein wants the more audience-friendly PG-13, and he’s using his show business connections to make it so. He appeared on CBS This Morning with this plea:
The movie is the gentlest, most wonderful true story, filled with humor and joy. They should just put PG-13 Strong Language on this and make an exception. So it’s under appeal, but you know …
He even brought back M from the dead–Dench’s character from the James Bond franchise–to plea for the film’s reduced rating.
Weinstein previously went to bat for the 2012 documentary Bully, arguing its R-rating meant teens won’t have access to its important social memes and that any edits would injure the film’s artistic worth.
A film producer certainly wants as few restrictions as possible for his or her work, but Weinstein’s public battles in this arena smack of publicity 101. Case in point: Bully eventually underwent some tiny revisions to earn a PG-13 rating.
Hollywood now routinely slices and dices its product to appease foreign markets, so excising a single expletive hardly seems like cause for artistic concern.