Is the Motion Picture Association of America homophobic?
That is what many are wondering after learning that the MPAA, which is responsible for distributing film ratings, gave the new film Love Is Strange — which depicts the romance of two gay men, played by Alfred Molina and John Lithgow — a restrictive “R” rating, though the film has no sex, nudity, or violence. According to the MPAA, the rating is for language.
Films are rarely rated R merely for language, but there have been notable instances: The King’s Speech (2010), in which Colin Firth’s character (King George VI) drops the F-bomb several times as a technique to conquer his stammer; and the 1995 romance, Before Sunrise, which starred Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy.
The MPAA — the members of which are six major Hollywood studios, and which is currently chaired by former Democratic senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut — regularly earns criticism for its ratings, and for the lack of transparency about how it determines them.
Below, the trailer for Love Is Strange: