A Brief History of PG-13

a brief history of pg-13 in 1984 the

Motion Picture Association of America

introduced its first content rating

since its G PG r and ex classification

system replaced the Hays Code in 1968

the pg-13 rating appeared after a summer

in which the grisly imagery of two films

prompted debate Indiana Jones and the

Temple of Doom drew heat for a feast

that found Indiana's companion eating

such delicacies as eyeball soup and

monkey brains and of course the infamous

scene in which the priest of an Indian

cult removes a man's still beating heart

gremlins attracted criticism for the

cartoonish violence and mayhem of its

titular DC's including one memorable

scene in which gremlins meet grim fates

inside a food processor and a microwave

both were rated PG the pg-13 rating was

meant to correct that perceived problem

but ran into its own problems from the

start the first pg-13 film John Milius

is red dawn was quickly condemned as the

most violent movie ever made

setting a pattern the rating would

follow through today filmmakers could

get away with a lot of violence in a

pg-13 movie but little in the way of sex

or profanity brief nudity once glimpsed

in pg-13 and even PG movies is now

largely verbose gay content can get

films like love is strange and our

ratings simply by depicting affection

between gay characters then there's the

unwritten - folks

rule one use of the f-word will keep you

safely in the pg-13 realm - feets in its

and are for evidence look no further

than the inoffensive Irish musical once

which fits way into an R the pg-13

rating has failed in part because so

many PG 13 movies have succeeded

financially that gives filmmakers an

incentive to tone down violence and

frightening content in action and horror

films in order to secure a softer rating

yet since it remains the key to reaching

a wider audience

the pg-13 rating shows no signs of going

away it now represents the insidious

idea that filmmakers working above a

certain budget level can no longer

decide who their films are for

which is far more damaging than any

number of f-bombs