the cinema

Why The MPAA Is Suddenly Handling Out ‘Male Nudity’ Warnings

For the first time in the history of the Motion Picture Association of America’s history of rating theatrical films, warnings of “male nudity” are being placed on movies. The three films of 2010 — and the only to ever receive such notation — are Jackass 3D, Eat Pray Love, and Grown Ups. Since 2006, meanwhile, the MPAA has flagged 786 for containing “nudity,” but that was just an umbrella term for “lady parts.” Indeed, zero films have been marked with warnings of “female nudity.” Why the change up? Bruno.

“Parents requested specifically after the movie Brüno that we provide such information,” says MPAA spokesman Craig Hoffman. This could turn ugly, warns Spangle.

With the possibility of federal standards, the industry adopted a voluntary system, which has evolved into the labels you see today. How it works: A board of everyday parents reviews hundreds of films per year, assigning each with a G, PG, PG-13, R or NC-17 rating. Since 1990, the group also has added a description of why the rating was given (say, “violence” or “disturbing images”).

Because the system is for parents and by parents, it’s at the whim of parents — especially the vocal ones. When they start an uproar, that’s when calls emerge for the government to step in with its own ratings. And so the MPAA is required to respond or put its independence at risk.

Some vocal parents now want scarlet letters for whenever naughty male nudity is caught on celluloid, and the MPAA has caved. I asked spokesman Hoffman just how such a change is implemented. Could, say, one very loud parent force the organization’s hand?

Just be glad the MPAA isn’t rating gay pride parades.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #entertainment #anatomy #movies stories and more



    I too am outraged! There are waaaay too many peen appearances of which we the Gays are simply not informed about :p

    Just this weekend was watching Finding Woodstock when all of a sudden Emile Hirsch jumped up on a stage and stripped off all his clothes and ya gots to see all the goods…….


    Ya see it all!! :o

  • Gorbeh

    Why would parents bring their kids to Bruno in the first place??

  • Cam

    Interesting, most of the members of these parental groups are women. So why the anti-mail hatred? Why is male nudity any different?

    Just look at the movie “Waiting” You had full naked female crotch shot, no male nudity.

  • Pucifer

    Yes, we should be warned about penises, because as we all know, a naked woman is “artistic” and “beautiful,” and a naked man is just disgusting! LOL

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    How soon before Hollwood brings back the Hays Code?

  • Matt

    Just makes it easier to find!

  • Polyboy

    Way to go MPAA, how bloody regressive.

  • jason

    THe MPAA – as well as parents – seem to be more afraid of male nudity than female nudity. Of course, we have female semi-nudity shoved in our faces every day, so perhaps this reflects an agenda on the part of the female nudity-pushers.

    I think it’s all linked to homophobia towards men. Women are part of this push to make male homosexuality less socially acceptable than female homosexaulity. The parallel can be seen in the clothing double standard where revealing female clothing is encouraged all over the place but male revealing clothing is confined to small pockets like beaches or construction sites.

    We truly need to come down hard on the sleazy straight guy/female enabler paradigm.

  • Hilarious

    @jason: Do you seriously have a mental problem?

    Straight, white, American MEN are the ones so against male nudity, in charge of censorship of nudity in general, and total prudes when it comes to anything that doesn’t fit their “norm”.

    Why you keep attempting to blame women for anything and everything against homosexuality and male sexuality is beyond me.

    Women have been oppressed longer and harder than any other group of people in history. They have to fight tooth and nail to get any position of respect and power regardless of race, status, or knowledge.

    In short, shove your bs.

  • peteNsfo

    We need a scholarly queen to inform us, but wasn’t the MPAA begun by one politically motivated conservative back in the 50/60’s who ruled content & standards for years with threats of restrictive ratings that would kill revenue at the box office?

    It’s pretty unbelievable that people think the projected image of someone’s genitals- we all got’em, one way or another… is SOooo frightening!

    These parents are like petulant children… someone needs to be brave enough to tell them to just go away.

  • alan brickman

    More Misandry against men…gay or straight….

  • alan brickman

    Mostly ugly female parents …Trust me..We’ve noticed…

  • scott ny'er

    Y’all need to see “This Film is Not Rated.” It totally uncovers how corrupt the MPAA is.

  • UMB

    The MPAA doing something sexist/pro-violence/anti-sex/ultra-stupid is about as shocking as the WBC doing something homophobic.

  • Steve

    The grammar eludes me on this one.

    How does one “Handle” out male nudity? What part of the nudity does one grasp with the hand? And, does the adjective “out” qualify the male nudity?

  • Sceth

    The error is primarily orthographical; it isn’t grammatical.
    As used, ‘out’ is an adverb, not an adjective.

  • Ken S

    @Cam: It relates to patriarchy– the bully big-brother of the sexism/misogyny/homophobia ‘family’ of disturbed chauvinism. Female nudity is considered no big deal because it’s in-line with patriarchal male dominance: women are meant to be objectified and ‘seen,’ like livestock at auction. But men! Seeing a *man* naked and objectified is a degrading affront to the notion of “man-as-powerful,-inviolate-lookER.”

    Gawking is reserved for ‘real men’ as an exercise in power over the feminine, and when that gets turned on its head and a man gets stripped and ‘seen’ it’s a threat, because it undermines the established order.

  • slobone

    @PeteNSFO, don’t know if I’m a scholarly queen, but I’ll give it a try. Prior to the ratings system, nudity, foul language, & lots of other stuff were completely forbidden by the MPAA. In the 60’s a lot of moviemakers rebelled against the restrictions — there was a brief titty shot in The Pawnbroker & “salty” language in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. So they decided to replace outright banning with a ratings system which would allow more leeway, but warn parents what to expect.

    I don’t think there was ever a prospect of federal censorship, but many states had their own “ratings boards” and of course there were organizations like the Catholic Legion of Decency, which was very powerful.

    Over the decades the meaning of the ratings has changed considerably. Midnight Cowboy was originally rated X, but today it would be R at worst. (X was later changed to NC-17). When the ratings first got started, it looked as if nudity was going to go from forbidden to mandatory. Planet of the Apes had a nude butt shot of Charlton Heston (quite nice, actually). I think they removed that shot for later releases, since the movie went from M (=PG) to G.

  • slobone

    &PS the first male frontal that I know of was in The Last Picture Show (1971), but if you blinked you would have missed it…

  • Jimmy Fury

    @scott ny’er: Exactly what I was going to say.

    I swear every time i see the MPAA acronym I hear Maria Bello shouting “I WILL FIGHT FOR MY PUBIC HAIR!”

  • NAP79

    The MPAA is a fascist institution run by a bunch of morally self-righteous asshats who basically want to dictate to the rest of us what is acceptible. Fuck them! Its this type of censorship that ruins shows like The Sopranos on cable b/c some uptight Thunder Cunt is afraid her little angel is going to hear “fuck”.

Comments are closed.