EDITORIALS

Kevin Smith's Zack and Miri Teaser Pulled by the MPAA!

by
June 6, 2008

Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Remember that short, hilarious teaser trailer for Kevin Smith's Zack and Miri Make a Porno? Well the MPAA went ape shit and forced them to take it down. I never even knew it happened because I'd watched it a couple of times and had no need to revisit it. Smith mentions on his site News Askew that "the MPAA called and said we had to take it down." The reason? "Weinstein Co. (like most studios) is a signatory of the MPAA. As such, there are protocols involving trailers that we failed to follow." What a load of crap that is! My guess is this isn't the first MPAA incident involving Zack and Miri Make a Porno we'll see this year.

Kevin Smith goes on to explain that they never submitted the teaser trailer to the MPAA because they assumed since there was no real footage they didn't need to. And we all know what happens when you assume. Unfortunately since the vulgar content of this trailer would earn it a red band rating, they were not allowed to keep it up because there is no way to check the age of those who are watching it. Are you kidding me?! It wasn't that bad! Smith explains that this is the first time something like this has happened.

Turns out all promotional material for any film financed/distributed by a signatory of the MPAA has to be signed-off on by the MPAA - including internet-only materials. I never realized this, as it'd never been a problem in the past: we've been doing 'net-only teasers since "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" and nobody ever raised a red flag before (not even on the last flick, for which we also put up two 'net-only teasers in advance of the rated trailer). But I guess since the teaser was so, shall we say, racy… a rating was in order.

Oddly, the trailer still works for me over in our post. Smith says that Quick Stop Entertainment had to take down the trailer from their site for the time being and plans to get it back up as soon as the MPAA does approve the trailer. Now this is some serious bullshit here! I've learned to ignore some of the MPAA's insane decisions, but they've really gone too far! Sure the trailer wasn't for the inexperienced or immature by any means, but on the internet there is no way to restrict the age of viewers. What a shame!

Given the title of this movie contains the word "porno" and is literally about two friends who decide to make a porn movie, it's been under intense scrutiny since the start. I'm sure this isn't the last we'll hear of the MPAA clamping down on Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Not only that, but I'm sure we'll see activists and religious kooks alike come out of the woodwork when it actually hits theaters in October to protest its vulgar nature and obscene content. Oh the world we live in…

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  • You know, people give Smith shit for making movies that aren't very good. I don't happen to agree, but the issue comes up from time to time. At least he's still one of the few directors from the indie boon of the early 90's who still pushes the boundaries in such a way that it calls into question the asinine decision making of the MPAA. If the MPAA thinks that the can't control the age of the viewer when it comes to red band trailers, they have two options. Either try to put the genie back into the bottle when it comes to the internet (good luck with that) or STOP ALLOWING RED BAND TRAILERS! Either all, or nothing at all. Because right now, this looks like they are targeting Smith specifically.
  • jman571
    When will film makers realize that their precious MPAA does more harm than good, and unanimously drop support of it. Most film makers these days have caught onto the ideals of free-economics (no, not freakanomics) and the power of the internet, and have accordingly adapted to the modern society. I honestly feel that the MPAA is caught in some time bubble somewhere in between the methozoic and the rise of the bible-bashers.
  • Dusty
    Great point there Tom.. was exactly my thoughts... then again.. the name having Porno in it sure doesn't help... :-)
  • Kyle A. K.
    It wouldn't be hard to stop people from viewing Red Band trailers. In fact it would be easy. Just use a fraction of the technology that the adult entertainment industry uses online to protect minors. Granted the technology isn't perfect, and most companies don't actually try to protect minors, but honestly what kid is going to try to get around age verification software/site blocking software to watch one 90 second red band trailer? Of course this will never happen. The MPAA, much like the RIAA would just like to spoil everyones fun.
  • angrykid
    Ah...to live in a free country... Dan Glickman's such a little bitch. Can I say that?
  • Dave Lister, JMC
    This will all end up creating some free buzz for Smith's film. As irked as he probably is, he should just be grateful that this action by the MPAA will get people talking about his film. I'm sure he'll end up including this banned trailer on the DVD release, so it has not seen the last light of day by any means.
  • MPAA has been coming down on a LOT of films lately for promo stuff. CAPTIVITY anyone??? (didn't see it but I remember the incident that was ridiculous, anyone else?)
  • ObiWop
    The MPAA is notorious for screwing with independant films way more than mainstream Hollywood stuff. Check out the documentary "This film is not yet rated". Great slam piece on the MPAA.

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