MPAA Celebrates 50 Years of Film Ratings

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) today released a report to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its film rating system. The report, “G” is for Golden: The MPAA Film Ratings at 50, includes the results of a new survey of American parents, never-before-released, comprehensive data on the nearly 30,000 films rated since 1968, and a detailed look at the history, evolution, and process behind the ratings.

The MPAA’s Classification and Rating Administration (CARA) was created by former MPAA President and CEO Jack Valenti and first announced on November 1, 1968. This voluntary program provided an alternative to government censorship of movies and was designed first and foremost to help parents make informed viewing choices for their children while protecting the First Amendment, the rights of filmmakers, and the creative process.

“Given the extraordinary changes in our culture, entertainment, and society over the last 50 years, this anniversary feels particularly hard-earned and special,” said MPAA Chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin. “We could point to many factors behind the ratings’ success, but the clearest one of all comes directly from our founding mission: to maintain the trust and confidence of American parents.”

In conjunction with the 50-year milestone, the MPAA also released:
• A Digital Archive, featuring a collection of documents relating to the rating system’s founding and evolution, as well as the Hays Code, which preceded the MPAA ratings
• A Series of Video Vignettes, featuring CARA Chair Joan Graves answering some of the most frequently asked questions on the MPAA ratings
“We often find that when people have problems or issues with the ratings, they are based on misconceptions about our purpose and role,” said Joan Graves, Chair of the Classification and Rating Administration (CARA) and MPAA Senior Vice President. “It is our hope that with the release of these materials, we can promote a greater understanding of how the MPAA ratings serve parents, young audiences, and filmmakers alike.”

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