The MPAA has assigned an R rating to Michael Moore’s newest film “Where to Invade Next” “for language, some violent images, drug use and brief graphic nudity,” and now the outspoken documentarian has announced that he simply won’t accept the rating.
This isn’t the first time that Moore has struggled with the rating system. In his 2002 book, “Stupid White Men,” he stressed the frustrations he faced with his first film “Roger and Me.” The film received an R rating by the MPAA for the killing of a rabbit for dinner, but no mention was made by the ratings committee of the subsequent shooting of an African-American man on camera by a police officer.
“It’s amazing how 25 years have passed — we invented the internet, gay marriage is legal and we elected an African American President of the United States, but the MPAA is still intent on censoring footage that is available from any evening network news show,” said Moore.
“This film has been widely praised by critics for its warmth and humor and optimism,” Moore continued. “What is the real reason I keep getting all these ‘R’ ratings. I wish the MPAA would just be honest and stick a label on my movies saying: ‘This movie contains dangerous ideas that the 99% may find upsetting and lead them to revolt. Teens will be the most agitated when they learn they will soon be $80,000 in debt just by going to school.'”
The film’s distributors, Tom Quinn, Jason Janego and Tim League, agreed: “With this rating, the MPAA is effectively telling high schoolers they just aren’t mature enough to handle or discuss important issues directly affecting their pursuit of the American dream. The notion that a teenager can’t walk into a theater and see ‘Where to Invade Next’ is ridiculous and frankly un-American.”
There is currently no word on what Moore’s next steps will be.
The film will open in New York and Los Angeles on December 23.