MPAA suspends ratings of Captivity

MUMBAI: The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has issued a month-long suspension of the ratings process for After Dark Films’ upcoming release, Captivity.

The action comes as a response to After Darks’ prominent display in both Los Angeles and New York of advertising that the MPAA had explicitly disapproved as inappropriate for general public viewing, says a release. The production company and its distributors will also be required to clear not only all promotional materials, but also the locations and venues of all advertising buys relating to the film, marking the first time that sanction has been imposed by the MPAA.

“The sanctions in this case are severe because this was an unacceptable and flagrant violation of MPAA rules and procedures,” says MPAA’s senior vice president of advertising Marilyn Gordon. “After Dark Films presented their ads for approval, as all companies are required to do if they wish to receive an MPAA rating. However, their ads were summarily rejected for their graphic depiction of a woman’s torture and death. Yet After Dark proceeded to post them on billboards anyway, and these ads appeared in some of the most prominent public locations in Los Angeles and New York. It is now up to After Dark Films to restore good faith with the MPAA.”

Films that seek an MPAA rating are required to clear with the MPAA all promotional materials that will be publicly displayed, whether in print, on television, in theatres or online.

As a result of the ruling, Captivity will not be eligible for consideration by the ratings board until on or after 1 May 2007 and will be given no priority scheduling at that time, the release adds.