Public libraries allow minors to check out R-rated movies

From ABC15 (KNXV-TV) in Phoenix, AZ: <a href="">Public libraries allow minors to check out R-rated movies</a>: <blockquote>R-rated movies with sex, nudity, and graphic violence are available for check-out at public libraries across the Valley, and the ABC15 Investigators found teenagers can get movies there they can't at the video store . . . . 6/4/08 UPDATE: The Phoenix Library Advisory Board is conducting a comprehensive review of its circulation policies for minors. We'll keep you posted on any changes they may make.</blockquote>


One day, I hope that America wakes up and realizes that the MPAA guidelines are not law. Video stores and movie theaters restrict access to these films because they choose to do so.

There was an attempt to stir up some trouble with this at my library a few years back - I checked out an R rated movie to an 11 year-old. Why? Because it's none of my business what ANYONE checks out. period. If Mommy doesn't want her kids watching an R rated movie, fine. She needs to be there to make that decision.

...lazy local TV journalists can score an easy and sensational story by portraying public librarians as evil because they do their jobs properly, we'll get this kind of story. Unfortunately, the facts have never been of much use when We Must Protect The Children (No Matter What Harm to Freedoms) is the selling point.

A couple things to remember:

The only reason cinemas follow the MPAA ratings guidelines is because they pretty much have to if they want to continue to receive films (or hard drives as the case is now). Since they receive their films from the studio distributors, they have to play by the rules because they're the last part of the distribution side of things.

Video rental stores, while they typically follow MPAA guidelines, do not actually have to do so. They buy DVDs off the wholesale and retail market, not from the studios.

Also, I question the validity of movie ratings when the MPAA will not divulge who is on the ratings board, who makes the decisions, or how the decisions are made. When you can make the rules as you go, and not tell anyone about them, you can do anything you want.

I remember a while back that the South Park movie had to remove the word "hell" from it's title because the censors demanded it. That'd be okay if not for movies named Hellraiser, Hellboy, From Hell, Jason Goes to Hell, Hell in the Pacific, or Hellfighters. It's not like the word hell hasn't made an appearance in film titles before.

Some books contain the machinery required to create and sustain universes. Tycho (Jerry Holkins) @ Penny Arcade

A few years ago, we went through something similar. We used to check out r-rated movies to kids because it's not our place to decide what they can and can't view, that is their parents decision. But, a girl scout was a little upset by this and wrote an essay for her troop about why it was wrong, somehow the essay got in the hands of a local politician. It turns out that there is a state law prevent the dissemination of r-rated materials to those underage. So, now we have to code r-rated movies specially in the item records so they cannot be checked out by a patron with a "kids" card and we have a sticker that goes on the box with the law.

Now, when I worked at a video store, we would rent r-rated films to minors but only if the parents came in and specifically requested they be allowed.

what a bullshit law, restricting access of materials to minors based upon the judgement of a group of idiots who hold no power over anyone. If I lived in your state, I would check them out anyway.

Steffers- What state do you live in? Are there any other states that use MPAA ratings? -Mike

I am not quite awake yet but seem to recall that within the LDS context there is an effective outsourcing of decision-making relative to what movies are okay to watch and what are not based on MPAA ratings. Am I remembering such correctly?
Stephen Michael Kellat, Host, LISTen

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