Since When is Jackass an Acceptable Word in Trailers?
by Alex Billington
May 2, 2008
Not that I have a problem against using the word jackass, but I'm wondering since when has it been actually allowed in "Approved for All Audiences" trailers?! I was just watching the new Hancock trailer again and I noticed that "jackass" is used twice in that trailer alone. And then I remembered last night before Iron Man I saw the (awful) trailer for The Love Guru twice and remembered hearing the cute little Verne Troyer saying "put me down jackass" at some point in that one as well. I thought a few years ago even a hint of profanity was kept far and away out of trailers. But now jackass is acceptable? Since when did the MPAA get so soft?!
It may be odd to hear a question like that coming from me, because I'm one of the biggest advocates for less censorship - so that's not really my question. Instead, I'm curious as to how, all of a sudden, jackass is allowed in publicly approved trailers that little kids can go see? Because as far as I know, the MPAA is not that easy to break down. And jackass or ass are not exactly words that we hear a lot in PG movies. None of these trailers are really that deserving of a red band rating anyway, but that doesn't mean jackass can be used so freely - does it?
I'm guessing it has to do with something with the fact that the actual definition of the word is a donkey. So I'm sure after some battles and internal debates over a dinner table, the MPAA execs decided jackass is more often used to describe an animal than it is to describe idiots. But then in both of the trailers I mentioned, they're clearly not talking about a donkey when they say jackass. I'm even laughing at myself for bringing this up to begin with, but it is one of the most interesting things I've come across in trailers in a while.
So has the MPAA started to loosen up a bit recently? Have they started to realize profanity is not what is causing all the violence in this world? Or have they just found some loophole regarding the definition of a word? Is anyone actually offended by this? Is there anyone out there that wouldn't be happy if they took their kid to see a PG or PG-13 movie and they heard jackass in the trailer? Or am I just overlooking this entire thing anyway? For all I know, jackass has probably been in trailers since 1951 and I've just missed it.