Generally I try to stay away from the MPAA discussion. I understand that, in theory, a rating system is pretty essential when it comes to movies, but I've seen this studio-paid puppet group bend over backwards for their clientele again and again. (Really, who does the MPAA serve? The public or the Paramounts?) So while I'm never pleased to hear that people are losing their jobs, I felt a nice dose of schad as I read this Hollywood Reporter piece.
Seems that studios have decided to slash the MPAA's annual budget by somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 million smackeroos. Now they'll have to get by with only about $75 million a year, which is still kinda high when you consider the MPAA's main goal is to sit down and watch movies. Surely they don't need $75 million worth of DVD players and clipboards. Yes, I know the MPAA is involved in anti-piracy, which used to give them an excuse to fly people all over the globe, but really ... if it weren't for the G, PG, and R, this organization would have folded up shop years ago.
Somewhere Kirby Dick is having a nice chuckle, but here's what I'm wondering: Does this mean that the MPAA can now adopt a "tougher edge" when doling out the ratings? You can't slash a staff's budget without creating a little animosity, so what's preventing the MPAA from tossing out old-school R ratings for sex comedies that normally get that coveted PG-13? Will this be an end to the PG-rated beheadings of Narnia 2? Or perhaps the MPAA ratings board will actually balance things out and start giving appropriate ratings to the indie flicks.
Apologies to the folks who lost their jobs, but if this brings a little more accountability to the MPAA, then I'm all for it.