Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Voice of Sanity from the Film Industry? Or a Cop-Out?

 

Imagine an actor allowing for racist themes in movies and television! An actor from the UK, Idris Elba, thinks that racist viewpoints should be included in films as long as they are included in the rating systems that we have already accepted. He thinks that censorship is not necessary:

Out of respect for the time and the movement, commissioners and archive-holders pulling things they think are exceptionally tone-deaf at this time—fair enough and good for you. But I think, moving forward, people should know that freedom of speech is accepted, but the audience should know what they’re getting into.

I wonder how long it will take for him to get blowback? I haven’t seen any yet.

Then again, I’m not on Twitter or Facebook.

What do you think about having a “racist warning” in the movie rating system?

Published in Culture
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 58 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. GrannyDude Member

    Meh. “Racism” is in the eye of the beholder, and there are a lot of aggressively sensitive beholders. 

    Also, it infantilizes the moviegoing public, who are capable of figuring out for themselves whether a film is objectionable to them.

    That said, Idris is at least on the right track.

    • #1
    • July 27, 2020, at 5:36 AM PDT
    • 28 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Meh. “Racism” is in the eye of the beholder, and there are a lot of aggressively sensitive beholders.

    Also, it infantilizes the moviegoing public, who are capable of figuring out for themselves whether a film is objectionable to them.

    That said, Idris is at least on the right track.

    I agree, @GrannyDude, with your entire comment. I just think it’s interesting that no one is attacking him for allowing for “racism” in any form.

    • #2
    • July 27, 2020, at 5:39 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  3. colleenb Member
    colleenb Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Meh. “Racism” is in the eye of the beholder, and there are a lot of aggressively sensitive beholders.

    Also, it infantilizes the moviegoing public, who are capable of figuring out for themselves whether a film is objectionable to them.

    That said, Idris is at least on the right track.

    I agree, @GrannyDude, with your entire comment. I just think it’s interesting that no one is attacking him for allowing for “racism” in any form.

    First, give them time. Second, he is black so he can speak when others can’t/won’t (sigh). Third, he is one fine looking man (sigh in a different way from before 😊).

    • #3
    • July 27, 2020, at 5:44 AM PDT
    • 21 likes
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    colleenb (View Comment):
    First, give them time. Second, he is black so he can speak when others can’t/won’t (sigh). Third, he is one fine looking man (sigh in a different way from before 😊).

    I thought about his being a black man, @colleenb, but there was no mercy for Kanye West. 

    • #4
    • July 27, 2020, at 5:51 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. Henry Castaigne Member

    GrannyDude (View Comment):
    “Racism” is in the eye of the beholder, and there are a lot of aggressively sensitive beholders.

    Acknowledge my lived experience of discrimination puny mortals.
    • #5
    • July 27, 2020, at 6:00 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  6. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    colleenb (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Meh. “Racism” is in the eye of the beholder, and there are a lot of aggressively sensitive beholders.

    Also, it infantilizes the moviegoing public, who are capable of figuring out for themselves whether a film is objectionable to them.

    That said, Idris is at least on the right track.

    I agree, @GrannyDude, with your entire comment. I just think it’s interesting that no one is attacking him for allowing for “racism” in any form.

    First, give them time. Second, he is black so he can speak when others can’t/won’t (sigh). Third, he is one fine looking man (sigh in a different way from before 😊).

    You beat me to it. Idris can say whatever he wants **fans self**.

    • #6
    • July 27, 2020, at 6:11 AM PDT
    • 13 likes
  7. Bob Wainwright Member

    So he’s saying that we need warnings on To Kill a Mockingbird? And Huckleberry Finn? And a million other movies? I think he would be getting praises for that from the woke cancel culture types. 

    • #7
    • July 27, 2020, at 6:18 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  8. Hoyacon Member

    The first black James Bond speaks. I’m good with his thoughts, provided he gets the cadence in “Bond . . . James Bond” down.

    • #8
    • July 27, 2020, at 6:29 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  9. Rodin Member

    I think a more useful warning would be: “Not historically accurate” and “May Offend Your Worldview”. But I would prefer Idris’ approach to censorship.

    • #9
    • July 27, 2020, at 7:09 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  10. Stina Member

    The disclaimer should be “culturally sensitive material.”

    I don’t know if I want the rating system to reflect it. Note that Dreamworks’ Prince of Egypt included such a disclaimer. As do some of the Assassin’s Creed games.

    • #10
    • July 27, 2020, at 7:39 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  11. Stina Member

     

    Rodin (View Comment):

    I think a more useful warning would be: “Not historically accurate” and “May Offend Your Worldview”. But I would prefer Idris’ approach to censorship.

    They already include “not historically accurate.”

    • #11
    • July 27, 2020, at 7:42 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  12. Rodin Member

    Stina (View Comment):

     

    Rodin (View Comment):

    I think a more useful warning would be: “Not historically accurate” and “May Offend Your Worldview”. But I would prefer Idris’ approach to censorship.

    They already include “not historically accurate.”

    Well, a watered-down version that simply is intended to protect themselves from lawsuits. And it happens in the credits not on the medallion on the front of the story. When people read it, it’s yada yada yada. But seriously, children need to learn that entertainment is to truth what cartoon death is to real death. 

    • #12
    • July 27, 2020, at 7:55 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

     

    Rodin (View Comment):

    I think a more useful warning would be: “Not historically accurate” and “May Offend Your Worldview”. But I would prefer Idris’ approach to censorship.

    They already include “not historically accurate.”

    Well, a watered-down version that simply is intended to protect themselves from lawsuits. And it happens in the credits not on the medallion on the front of the story. When people read it, it’s yada yada yada. But seriously, children need to learn that entertainment is to truth what cartoon death is to real death.

    We’ve already inserted so much PC into our movies–like no cigarettes, or making sure that parts are racially–appropriate representatives–black playing black, native American playing native American–. I can’t imagine that people are going to give this man a pass, but then what do I know?

    • #13
    • July 27, 2020, at 8:00 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  14. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Meh. “Racism” is in the eye of the beholder, and there are a lot of aggressively sensitive beholders.

    Also, it infantilizes the moviegoing public, who are capable of figuring out for themselves whether a film is objectionable to them.

    That said, Idris is at least on the right track.

    There is already some subjectivity to rating systems and always has been.

    I learned yesterday that the movie Constantine was designed according to PG-13 guidelines but received an R rating anyway because of the demonic theme. The film makers were surprised because that isn’t explicitly listed in the rules.

    No one in the cast or media demonstrated any understanding. Even a non-Christian is capable of understanding that demons are not imaginary creatures in the Christian worldview. Writing a plot around them is like writing a plot around any other pure evil, like Hitler or serial killers. I don’t know any PG-13 movies about such evils. 

    Anyway, I’m willing to grant rating boards flexibility so long as R-rated films and M-rated games remain easily accessible to audiences. It’s when ratings are used to ban products from sale — like games are often banned from Australia and Germany — that rating systems become problematic. 

    One might argue that ratings can prejudice audiences against products. But look at Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. So long as professional reviews are distinguished from consumer reviews and the latter have wide latitude, consumers can recognize when professional reviews are colored by politics.

    • #14
    • July 27, 2020, at 8:02 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  15. colleenb Member
    colleenb Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    colleenb (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Meh. “Racism” is in the eye of the beholder, and there are a lot of aggressively sensitive beholders.

    Also, it infantilizes the moviegoing public, who are capable of figuring out for themselves whether a film is objectionable to them.

    That said, Idris is at least on the right track.

    I agree, @GrannyDude, with your entire comment. I just think it’s interesting that no one is attacking him for allowing for “racism” in any form.

    First, give them time. Second, he is black so he can speak when others can’t/won’t (sigh). Third, he is one fine looking man (sigh in a different way from before 😊).

    You beat me to it. Idris can say whatever he wants **fans self**.

    Yeah, who turned up the thermostat in here?

    • #15
    • July 27, 2020, at 8:03 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  16. colleenb Member
    colleenb Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Rodin (View Comment):

    I think a more useful warning would be: “Not historically accurate” and “May Offend Your Worldview”. But I would prefer Idris’ approach to censorship.

    I would tweak it slightly Rodin. I would make it ‘historical’ whatever as they do with ‘historical smoking.’ Nah. Probably end up with a disclaimer longer than the original film if it was made more than 48 Hours ago.

    • #16
    • July 27, 2020, at 8:07 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Meh. “Racism” is in the eye of the beholder, and there are a lot of aggressively sensitive beholders.

    Also, it infantilizes the moviegoing public, who are capable of figuring out for themselves whether a film is objectionable to them.

    That said, Idris is at least on the right track.

    There is already some subjectivity to rating systems and always has been.

    I learned yesterday that the movie Constantine was designed according to PG-13 guidelines but received an R rating anyway because of the demonic theme. The film makers were surprised because that isn’t explicitly listed in the rules.

    No one in the cast or media demonstrated any understanding. Even a non-Christian is capable of understanding that demons are not imaginary creatures in the Christian worldview. Writing a plot around them is like writing a plot around any other pure evil, like Hitler or serial killers. I don’t know any PG-13 movies about such evils.

    Anyway, I’m willing to grant rating boards flexibility so long as R-rated films and M-rated games remain easily accessible to audiences. It’s when ratings are used to ban products from sale — like games are often banned from Australia and Germany — that rating systems become problematic.

    One might argue that ratings can prejudice audiences against products. But look at Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. So long as professional reviews are distinguished from consumer reviews and the latter have wide latitude, consumers can recognize when professional reviews are colored by politics.

    @aaronmiller, I don’t quite understand your concern. (I can’t disagree with it because I’m not clear!) Do you believe that giving the film an R rating was appropriate because demons do exist, and people who are not Christian should know that is the belief of the Christian world? Since Christians believe in demons, film-makers should take that into account when designing their movies and realize that will affect the film’s rating? I’m not well-versed on the definitions of PG and R ratings, so I’m at a disadvantage here.

    • #17
    • July 27, 2020, at 8:14 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    @colleenb and @charlotte, someone is going to call you out for being sexist. Don’t look at me!

    • #18
    • July 27, 2020, at 8:16 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  19. The Reticulator Member

    Susan Quinn: What do you think about having a “racist warning” in the movie rating system?

    Generally I find such warnings offensive. If reviewers put such warnings in their reviews, that’s different. 

    • #19
    • July 27, 2020, at 9:19 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. The Reticulator Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: What do you think about having a “racist warning” in the movie rating system?

    Generally I find such warnings offensive. If reviewers put such warnings in their reviews, that’s different.

    Maybe if they warned people that they will be exposed to leftwing ideology, that would be OK. It’s true about 99.99 percent of the time.

    • #20
    • July 27, 2020, at 9:20 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  21. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    I don’t quite understand your concern. (I can’t disagree with it because I’m not clear!) Do you believe that giving the film an R rating was appropriate because demons do exist, and people who are not Christian should know that is the belief of the Christian world? Since Christians believe in demons, film-makers should take that into account when designing their movies and realize that will affect the film’s rating? I’m not well-versed on the definitions of PG and R ratings, so I’m at a disadvantage here.

    The rating system exists to inform audiences. Half the movie’s sales were outside the US. But our rating system is for the US market, which at the time of the film’s release remained mostly Christian. Thus, the Christian worldview is relevant. Many non-Christians, like Hindus and even Shintoists, believe in similar evil spirits.

    Granted, modern Westerners claiming Christian affiliation are greatly divided and many now reject traditional beliefs in angels and demons. In areas like Hollywood, film makers might rarely meet anyone who treats such beings different than cartoon heroes and villains.

    But the context matters. Constantine adopts a semi-Catholic understanding of demons. They are malicious creatures of visceral horror who delight in pain, death, and corruption. They are not presented as cartoon characters. It’s mature subject matter.

    Many parents let their young teenagers watch movies about serial killers and other horrors despite R ratings. Demons are equivalent (unless the term is applied to something different, as sometimes happens). The rating doesn’t prevent viewing.

    By the way, the film director and producer said they would have designed it for an R rating, had they known it would be rated R anyway. I think it’s a good example of a story which benefited from limits. Instead of gore, we got clever presentations. Instead of cussing, we got wit and meaningful dialogue.

    • #21
    • July 27, 2020, at 9:24 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  22. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    What do you think about having a “racist warning” in the movie rating system?

    @susanquinn, I believe it is another device to separate we the people. There seems to be a concerted effort to separate us into “tribes,” each with our own particular set of grievances, seeking our own benefit at the expense of the whole. Completely at odds with the founding principals of this nation.

    • #22
    • July 27, 2020, at 9:41 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  23. Henry Castaigne Member

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    What do you think about having a “racist warning” in the movie rating system?

    @susanquinn, I believe it is another device to separate we the people. There seems to be a concerted effort to separate us into “tribes,” each with our own particular set of grievances, seeking our own benefit at the expense of the whole. Completely at odds with the founding principals of this nation.

    It will be taken that way. I’d be fine informing people that this or that movie will have the n-word used but we know that such a rating system will be coopted by the extreme left and become anti-American. 

    • #23
    • July 27, 2020, at 9:49 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  24. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    By the way, the film director and producer said they would have designed it for an R rating, had they known it would be rated R anyway. I think it’s a good example of a story which benefited from limits. Instead of gore, we got clever presentations. Instead of cussing, we got wit and meaningful dialogue.

    Thanks for clarifying, @aaronmiller. Your points make sense.

    • #24
    • July 27, 2020, at 9:53 AM PDT
    • Like
  25. JosePluma Thatcher

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    GrannyDude (View Comment):
    “Racism” is in the eye of the beholder, and there are a lot of aggressively sensitive beholders.

    Acknowledge my lived experience of discrimination puny mortals.

    Is there a warning for bad puns?

     

    • #25
    • July 27, 2020, at 9:54 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  26. Henry Castaigne Member

    JosePluma (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    GrannyDude (View Comment):
    “Racism” is in the eye of the beholder, and there are a lot of aggressively sensitive beholders.

    Acknowledge my lived experience of discrimination puny mortals.

    Is there a warning for bad puns?

    The name Henry Castaigne itself should be a warning for bad puns and obscure nerd references. 

    • #26
    • July 27, 2020, at 9:55 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  27. Sisyphus Coolidge
    Sisyphus Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I love Idris’ work, including as Heimdall in the MCU, but casting a black as a Norse God never made sense. As if Odin has an EEOC he is responsible to. (Although I can see Odin getting some hot brown sugar on the side and voila.)

    We already have woke press to tell us how utterly racist everything is. A rating would be redundant. 

    There are racists, a rainbow of them, and it would probably be market suicide to go down that road in a contemporary context. 

    • #27
    • July 27, 2020, at 1:23 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  28. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Basically he appears to be arguing that all movies should be re-rated according to today’s standards rather than keeping the rating they received when they were first released.

    If you follow this idea to its logical conclusion, a whole lot of PG-rated movies would be reclassified with R-ratings. For example, Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom would have to be given an R rating due to the heart-torture scene.

    Also, how often would movies have to be re-rated? MPAA standards change all the time. Would all movies have to be resubmitted on an annual basis? There’s no way the MPAA would be able to handle that volume of work.

    • #28
    • July 27, 2020, at 1:30 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  29. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):
    Also, how often would movies have to be re-rated? MPAA standards change all the time. Would all movies have to be resubmitted on an annual basis? There’s no way the MPAA would be able to handle that volume of work.

    Just think of the thousands of new jobs we could create. Mis. We’ll just call them “re-raters”! Special training included!

    • #29
    • July 27, 2020, at 1:38 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  30. Sisyphus Coolidge
    Sisyphus Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):
    Also, how often would movies have to be re-rated? MPAA standards change all the time. Would all movies have to be resubmitted on an annual basis? There’s no way the MPAA would be able to handle that volume of work.

    Just think of the thousands of new jobs we could create. Mis. We’ll just call them “re-raters”! Special training included!

    They already exist. ratings for parents, ratings for Christians, etcetera. I’m sure Satanist ratings are available somewhere. 

    Those have way more integrity than the MPAA. 

    • #30
    • July 27, 2020, at 1:50 PM PDT
    • 2 likes