One thing that really gets my goat is hypocrisy. I am willing to accept that we are all possibly hypocritical in one way or another. Particularly if you think about the masks we may wear in a professional setting as compared to a new social setting and compared to a personal setting. But I tend to think of hypocrisy (as most things) on a continuum. So some of us are a lot more hypocritical than others. And it’s the ones that are way more hypocritical that I do not like. And find it hard to understand.
Just so we are all on the same page, hypocrisy according to the online free dictionary means “The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness”.
Recently, I came across a news article that made me all annoyed again as it screamed hypocrisy. I had wanted to blog about it around the time I read it but procrastinated. However, it has sort of come back in the news with the Oscars so I thought, why not?
Apparently, the language in The King’s Speech is too much for Americans to handle and it was given a rating of R upon its release. However, it could get a PG rating following censoring some of the language — which is what happened. [Check out what the motion pictures ratings mean here]
Now, for those of you who haven’t watched The King’s Speech, I have reviewed it here. And the only “obscene language” is Colin Firth’s character using a bunch of swear words to ‘loosen’ his tongue. It includes the F word. Apart from that, I think he says words like bugger (which I didn’t think was a swear word). The swear words are not directed at anyone but rather just a way for him to try and overcome his stutter. It is one of the more crucial scenes in the movie which, by the way, is based on true events.
Now, I am not condoning swearing. I know some people don’t like it. And I know I tend to swear a lot especially out of frustration. [Try it some time… it feels good] But my annoyance stems from this — American film distributors censoring swearing.
Can you see the hypocrisy in that??
How many movies feature nudity? How many movies and tv shows are filled with sexual references? All rated PG. How many music videos feature semi-naked women? Sexually explicit lyrics? [Think of any hip-hop artist…the songs tend to be about women and their bodies…] How many movies glorify violence? All of these feature on American telly.
And all of a sudden a few choice words in a movie make it enough to be censored. Apparently, it is okay for kids to watch Britney and other “musicians” strut around semi-nude and gyrate but it’s not okay for them to watch someone use the F-word out of frustration from stuttering. It is okay for kids to watch violent movies and play games which include killing a zillion people or zombies but hearing a few curses is going to scar them for life.
Just so you can see the extent of the ridiculousness of this, the movie Saw (and all its bloody sequels) was rated R. Compare that to The King’s Speech needing the same rating. The former showing enough blood and gore to make you sick. The latter having a few swear words. The former about a psychopath killing people in vicious and crazy ways. The latter about a king trying to overcome a speech defect.
How in the world do they even compare to have to get the same rating?
I think the American movie people should get off their high horses and look at the stuff they air on telly and their own movies first. And in any case, kids as young as 6 and 7 know more swear words than what the movie portrays. And they probably have also learnt that sex and nudity can get you everything while violence is the answer to your problems. Thanks to all that they see.
On a slightly different note, who else thinks that if this were a movie made by an American the response would have been completely different?
But if the Brits and Aussies do it, it’s a nightmare.
Until next time,