Pornography and prostitution have been the oldest forms of entertainment and occupation, respectively. Long before the founding of MPAA, there have been movies that were considered inappropriate for viewers below the age of 17 or 18. As the censorship and monitoring bodies like the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) created classifications for movies and other forms of entertainment, this didn’t stop the public from showing interest in X-rated movies. This only served to trigger the curiosity of people. We’re going to explore some of the truths about this controversial topic as we move along.
X-rated Films Were Once Welcomed in Movie Awards
In the early days of the creation of this classification, an X-rating in the past can be considered as R-rating in our newer film rating classification, while our modern X-rated films are now classified as soft pornography. Back in those days, the overall content and appeal of the movies are what mattered for them to be eligible entries in a movie award. Movies that were tagged as X-rated such as A Clockwork Orange, Last Tango in Paris, and Midnight Cowboy received critical acclaim in the Academy Awards during the 1970s.
The Porn Industry Took Advantage of the Rating
While the X-rating was initially conceived by MPAA, they didn’t copyright the “X” rating since it applies to film ratings. The porn industry found ways to take advantage of this and it wasn’t long before the X-rating became synonymous with pornography and served to fuel the burgeoning adult film industry.
Fast forward 3 decades later: the porn industry has flourished even further and conquered the online venue as well. Now, porn sites have sprouted steadily on the internet and streamed X-rated can be accessed. One noticeable development of online porn sites is their partnership with male enhancement supplement manufacturers and companies. Most porn sites are showing ads of supplements and performance-enhancing drugs and products aimed at the male audience. It can be safe to assume that even some pharmaceutical companies are realizing the lucrativeness of using porn sites as mediums for gaining more audiences for male performance-enhancing supplements. For the porn industry, this is a welcome development and an opportunity for more revenues.
The X-rating Was Overhauled In Favor of Artistic Merit
The MPAA has undergone several changes in leadership and administration over the years. Also, the appeal of movie industries and associations have forced MPAA to reconsider and review their movie rating to delineate what is pornography and what is a movie with artistic merit and significance. The 1990s saw the end of the use of X-rating on movies after MPAA overhauled its rating system. This gave rise to the R or NC-17 rating and the MPAA trademarked the new rating system to avoid the mistake of getting the rating to be taken advantage of by the porn industry. The porn industry also welcomed such a change in recognition of the film industry, making quality movies for the entertainment of the general viewers.
The X Rating Was Once Voluntary
One of the problems of a newly founded system is its implementation. The MPAA rating system also underwent such a problem during the first few years of the conception of a new rating system for movies. Film studios were not yet strictly enforced to accept the MPAA’s rating during the time, and they have the option of accepting or declining the rating. Also, filmmakers were initially provided the option of giving their films a rating. Some filmmakers who deemed their movies as fit for discerning viewers used the X rating while some found using the X rating an effective marketing or promotional tool. However, these practices didn’t last long as the MPAA continuously applied changes to the system until it reached the classification system which is generally accepted by everyone and the system that we are now familiar with.
Even topics that can be considered as taboo have some interesting facts and history behind them. We wouldn’t have known that there is a colorful history behind the X-rating and that it wasn’t initially associated with pornography like what we know today. It’s good to dig deeper into some things every once in a while so that we can learn to appreciate their significance.