(Photo: Reuters/Fred Prouser)
An expert with a pro-family group that serves as a watchdog for graphic content in entertainment media does not believe the recently announced changes to the MPAA's ratings system offer anything new.
Dan Isett, director of public policy for the Parents Television Council, told The Christian Post that while the decision was a "step in the right direction" it did not go far enough.
"Certainly anytime there is more information for parents it's a good thing. There's nothing to criticize about that," said Isett.
"Apparently there is no new information going to be given to parents; simply the existing information that we have had for a very long time repackaged in a different way. So while that is a step in the right direction it does not go nearly far enough to address issues."
Isett also told CP that "there are a number of things" the Motion Picture Association of America could do to improve their ratings system.
"Any would-be ratings system needs to be accurate. Obviously it needs to be transparent and it needs to have some accountability," said Isett.
"There's no accountability if a parent or family feels like a rating is in fact incorrect. There's no appeals process; the only appeals process that exists is for movie producers themselves. There's no way for the public to weigh in."
On Tuesday, MPAA Chairman and CEO Senator Chris Dodd announced at the annual National Association of Theatre Owners convention in Las Vegas a new "check the box" ratings awareness campaign.
"The campaign we are announcing today focuses on these descriptors, giving parents the information they need to navigate the rating system and movies coming to their theaters," said Dodd.
Dodd, along with NATO President John Fithian, announced the new changes to the ratings box used to classify movies on the basis of their graphic content.
"We also updated some of our most famous marks – our rating block and the trailer tag to further our education purpose. The rating block has a new look and makes the descriptor box more prominent," said Dodd.
"The trailer tag gets to the point and tells audiences that the trailer they are watching is approved to play with the feature they came to see."
Fithian remarked, "NATO appreciates everything the MPAA, Senator Dodd and the Rating System is doing. It's a great partnership. These changes make the rating and advertising process more transparent and user-friendly for parents and we are happy to support that endeavor."