Harvey Weinstein Battles Ratings Board, Gains More Free Publicity

Harvey Weinstein Battles Ratings Board, Gains More Free Publicity

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.