Posted on Friday, February 25th, 2011 by Russ Fischer
The Weinstein Company found itself embroiled in two battles with the MPAA last year. One was over the film Blue Valentine, which was given an NC-17 for one sex scene, and the rating was successfully appealed down to an R without edits being made to the film.
The other was for The King’s Speech, given an R for profanity, most of which is uttered in one sequence where King George VI (Colin Firth) attempts to break through his stutter. That appeal was unsuccessful, and the film’s R rating stuck. But when the film was nominated for many Oscars, the company said it might edit the film to get a PG-13 in order to capitalize on awards momentum. Now the edited version of the film has been given a PG-13.
Variety says that the Classification and Rating Administration, which oversees the MPAA’s rating system, has given the edited version of The King’s Speech a PG-13. In addition, the MPAA and National Association of Theater Owners have given a pass to a standard requirement that usually forces 90 days between differently-rated versions of the same film being released in theaters. In other words: the PG-13 version can go out to theaters now.
MPAA President and Interim CEO Bob Pisano said,
The Weinstein Company has undertaken a commitment to ensure, through a revised advertising campaign, that it will be clear to consumers that a newly rated version of this film is coming to theaters near them. In this case a waiver is justified.
More important, what has been edited, and when will the new version be in theaters? I’ve submitted a list of questions to The Weinstein Company asking when the new version will be released, what has been edited, and how audiences will know beforehand which version they’re seeing. (Presumably all R-rated prints will be removed from theaters.) I’ll update when that info is finalized.
The LA Times says that according to one source the new rating came because “the contentious F-words have been muted out.”