Imagine being at the shooting of a movie in Hollywood. Elizabeth Taylor is getting ready for the next take. And suddenly a girl in glasses strictly dressed appears at the site. She climbs up the stairs, and looks at Taylor’s bust and says that her décolleté is too deep to appear on the screen. And even if you an Oscar-winner, like Richard Brooks, you can do nothing about it. You’ll have to ask Taylor to change in a more decent looking dress.
This is not a historical anecdote. This is a real story that happened in the 20’s in America. Director Ernst Lubitsch was made by the censors to cut from the film a panorama of a completely empty room, where it one mirror a naked ass of Cupid was reflected.
Kisses on the screen could not last more than 3 seconds. If actress’s leg was bent or hang on the partner, the scene would inevitably be cut out by censors. Since then, a lot of things have changed. Now Hollywood directors fearlessly show us on the screen not only busts, bare bottoms and breathtaking kisses, but more serious things as well. However, censorship has not disappeared in the United States. It just evolved.
Officially, there is no censorship in the United States. The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees Americans five freedoms: freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly, and freedom to make complaints. In fact, the censorship in the United States is disguised as concern for the country’s security, peace of mind of citizens, protection of Americans from moral decay and terrorism.
Times of code of Hayes in America are long gone. It was replaced by the American Motion Picture Association rating system (MPAA). The system operates since 1968 and has been very successful, as many other countries were quick to take advantage of the rich experience of the Americans and have introduced such ratings.
According to the founders, MPAA rating is no censorship. They say that they only evaluate the degree of danger a movies can have for children’s fragile psyche. Participation in the ranking is voluntary. Directors are free to follow the advice of MPAA and cut or reshoot scenes, or they can release the movie without it being rated.
The rating’s letters directly affect the audience, which means how much money the movie is going to make. Movies rated G can be watched by everybody, including infants. However movies rated NC-17 are only suitable for viewers over 17 years. Moreover, such movie is a subject to serious restrictions on advertising. Publishers seek to maximize audience and gently ask the director to cut some scenes. As we see this is censorship as it is.
Censorship in the recording industries includes censorship of music when it is not allowed to market or distributed. Rapper Ice-T had to change the lyrics of Cop Killer as a result of pressure from the William Bennett from Time Warner and various religious and human rights groups.
Imagine being at the shooting of a movie in Hollywood. Elizabeth Taylor is getting ready for the next take. And suddenly a girl in glasses strictly dressed appears at the site. She climbs up the stairs, and looks at Taylor’s bust and says that her décolleté is too deep to appear on the screen. And even if you an Oscar-winner, like Richard Brooks, you can do nothing about it.