A group of us got together a few nights ago to discuss our frustration with the ad campaign for CAPTIVITY. We were angered by the use of public space for images that were so clearly violent and extreme.
We weren't alone; blogs, livejournals and websites have been ablaze with criticism about the campaign since it went up. People were frustrated, offended, angry, outraged -- not only by the campaign, but by the very questionable "we had no idea!" response from the people who should have been responsible. There was a lot of energy and will to do something --but no one was sure what.
We decided to do something about that.
What we're suggesting below is simple: REMOVE THE RATING.
The MPAA didn't approve this ad campaign. On the contrary, they said it violated their guidelines. But it went up anyway. For ignoring the standards set by the MPAA, we think the only consequence that matters is the one the MPAA can levy -- withholding or removing the rating of the film.
Unrated films cannot be shown in most major theaters. Most major publications will not advertise for an unrated film. Many rental agencies, like BLOCKBUSTER, will not carry an unrated film. It's possible that the makers of CAPTIVITY will find they can make no money at all from their film.
Intentionally or not (you decide) the makers and advertisers of CAPTIVITY generated a great deal of free publicity by putting up those ads, offending people, and then taking them down. They are no doubt hoping that will translate to money when the movie comes out. That's why REMOVING THE ADS IS NOT ENOUGH. The only thing that will dissuade this kind of behavior in the future is for it to be made unprofitable.
So we're asking you to help us do that.
Read the letter, see what you think. If you agree with what we're saying, then do one or all of these three things:
1. Call the MPAA. Read the text of the letter if you like.
2. Email the MPAA. Cut and paste this letter or write your own.
3. Snail mail the MPAA. Yes, people still do that. Letterhead is always a cool thing.
Contact info for the MPAA is below the letter. And if you haven't seen the actual ad campaign yet, here's a link. (These images aren't kid safe.)
We're committed to the First Amendment and artistic freedom. This isn't about that. It's about the use (and misuse) of public space for images that aren't appropriate -- or approved -- for that space.
Thanks for dropping by.