Similar Sex Scenes Earn Different Ratings

MPAA under fire again after lesbian encounter gets tamer 'R'
By Eiric Baardsen,  Newser User
Posted Dec 4, 2010 10:03 AM CST
Promoted on Newser Dec 4, 2010 11:37 AM CST
In this publicity image released by the Sundance Film Festival, Michelle Williams, left, and Ryan Gosling are shown in a scene from "Blue Valentine."   (AP Photo/Sundance Film Festival)
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(User Submitted) – Hollywood's rating system is coming under fire again after two Oscar contenders, Black Swan and Blue Valentine, received R and NC-17 ratings, respectively. Debate is raging because both films depict oral sex scenes in essentially the same way, for the same time and with no nudity, reports the Los Angeles Times. The only difference between the two is that Black Swan, which got the tamer rating, features a lesbian encounter. In Blue Valentine, Ryan Gosling's character performs oral sex on Michelle Williams' character.

Critics contend it's another example of how the system administered by the Motion Picture Association of America is outdated and inconsistent, and that it takes a tougher stance against sex, language, and drugs than violence. Blue Valentine’s director says he's “confused and baffled” by the decision. Distributor Weinstein Co. is appealing the NC-17 rating, which is considered a commercial kiss of death.

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