Common Sense Media should use some common sense

I want to start out this by saying right away that I do not want Netflix to be involved in this issue, though I have discovered this issue through Netflix I do not hold them responsible for what their rating partner writes, I hold Common Sense Media responsible for everything.  OK now I will explain what happened, so I was taking a look at the rating description for the Comedy, The 40 Year Old Virgin and here is one line that Common Sense Media, (a movie rating service for informing parents on the contents of films) had to say about the film under the sexual content section that really stood out to me, “Relentless and slangy discussion of sex, some comedic activity, including the appearance of a “trannie prostitute.” Non-sexual nudity and same-sex kiss.”  It seems as if Common Sense Media makes some kind of distinction between a kiss between a man and a woman, as seen in most family films and same-sex kisses which for some reason Common Sense Media considers to be inappropriate for children.  I really thought we as a society in the year 2009 was past this kind of backwards thought, I guess I was a little too optimistic.  When asked how they dealt with gay or lesbian content when giving parents guidance on which games and movies are appropriate for their children Common Sense Media stated, “Our philosophy is that all parents are different. We’re here to make you a better parent,” Marisa Connolly, Communications Manager of Common Sense Media told Ars. “We want to provide as much information as we can, just literally saying here is the content. Here is what goes on in the movie, how much, how explicit it is. Here’s how much drinking, those sorts of things.”  Connolly’s defense really doesn’t really hold up that well when you consider the need for actual human decency, if a movie portrayed an interracial marriage it would be quite inappropriate to include in the ratings description under sexual content “portrayal of interracial marriage” because our society has accepted the idea that race doesn’t affect what type of person you are, so an interracial marriage is a non-issue.  A kiss between two people of the same sex who love each other should not be considered inappropriate for young children, what is inappropriate for young children, however is teaching them to hate.


About Michael Kirschner
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3 Responses to Common Sense Media should use some common sense

  1. renmiked says:

    While a agree that same-sex distinction should not have to be used, it is still an issue for at least 47% of the country. This is a company just giving a portion of the public what it wants. Companies will never lead the way in social change because business is about making a profit. By using the distinction they appease a portion of their customer base without really alienating another group.

    • Yes that is true but like I said in the post, just because a small portion of the public believes one way does not mean that it is justifiable, if a certain portion of the public did not believe in interracial relationships it would not be appropriate for a ratings company to include that in the iffy section for parents to know about.

    • And thank you for your comment, I always appreciate feedback

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