TODAY

TODAY   |  April 18, 2013

MPAA providing more details on movie ratings

In an effort to help parents know more about violence in films, the Motion Picture Association of America is making changes to its movie rating system. Jessica Shaw of Entertainment Weekly explains the revised ratings system.

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>>> against the backdrop of the boston attacks and the tragedy at sandy hook elementary school back in december, the motion picture association of america is now making changes to its movie rating system. those familiar ratings will now include more details for parents. here's a look at the new check the box ratings awareness campaign.

>> at the mpaa, we're dedicated to making sure every film finds its proper rating. each rating is determined by parents, for parents.

>> this stop.

>> we also give you extra information to help explain the differences between movies that share the same rating. check the box, go to film ratings.com to help make the right choice for you and your family.

>> jessica, good morning.

>> good morning.

>> quickly a little context for this first. obviously the mpaa came under heavy pressure including from the white house and joe biden to do something about violence in the movies in the wake of what happened in newtown in december.

>> absolutely, yeah. after newtown, a lot of people asked what can you do to do your part so this doesn't happen again. and they turned to the entertainment industry and said what can we do about violence? and the mpaa, this is what they've come up with.

>> old friends from the senate with joe biden . this is not an overhaul, it's a tweak. we still have the system of "p," "g," pg-13 and nc-17.

>> they changed the rating system a little bit, adding information under the letters. we identify the mpaa with the letters. and they added a little bit more information, it was small at the bottom, you couldn't see it. and they're basically making it bigger and adding more information so you don't know. this is a pg-13 movie, but you know specifically why it's pg-13.

>> forgive me for being a skeptic, but are we talking about a bigger font size essentially?

>> in some ways, yes. but the truth is, it is giving more information. and it was pretty small before. and, you know, i don't think that a lot of parents were looking at what was written in the small font down at the bottom under the letters.

>> will this be tailored to each individual film? or broad violence, language, nudity?

>> no, tailored to each film, which is important because there's -- there are very different things that fall under, especially the pg-13 umbrella. it's important, especially with the violence.

>> you mentioned pg-13. one of them says an intense scene of war violence, some images of carnage, brief strong language . that's brief for a parent making a decision.

>> and you want to know a lot of super hero movies that are pg-13, and there's a lot of violence and gun violence and deaths, and you don't want to leave it up to the mpaa and say this is okay for my 13-year-old. you want to know specifically, is this okay for me, for my 13-year-old or 12, 11 --

>> a little more information for parents to go on as they send their kids out