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Discussion: More Red Band Trailer Controversy Arises Again

by
March 29, 2010
Source: NY Times

Red Band

We are a website that often runs red band trailers so I thought I would briefly comment on a new article in the NY Times (via SlashFilm) about an increased concern over the quantity and ease of access of red band trailers online. The paper says a Federal Trade Commission report from last December identifies red band trailers as a "new concern" and that most age-verification "gates" for the trailers are too lax; they should have better verification to confirm that the viewer is at least the age of 17. Every time Hollywood starts to get a little edgier in their marketing, the "parents" of this country get angry with these concerns all over again.

I don't mind the occasional age gate and I'm fine with minimum age requirements (17+), but I think these complaints are just going too far. I mean come on, it's usually an edited trailer that may occasionally show violence or nudity, but not much, and not more than anyone can find publicly online or on TV anyway. Like every other inappropriate website on the internet, I think most kids can access them if they choose, but not all do. Complaining about poor prevention and saying it needs to be more rigorous isn't going to do much. These underage kids are still going to see the trailer if they want no matter what, even if there is an age gate.

I remember a few years ago when one of the major theater chains (Regal) decided to start running red band trailers again in front of R-rated movies. I thought it was a smart idea then and not an issue that should be contested. Although the marketers are trying to get the attention of as many people as possible, seeing a two minute clip that may by R-rated isn't the same as seeing the entire R-rated movie. I know there is going to be a heated response to all of this, saying I'm wrong, but those are my beliefs. And I'm sad these concerns have to be brought up again in mainstream media. Can't we just accept that it'll be out there and move on?

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  • People's Champ
    I dont care if they stop with the red band trailers, I'm tired of them showing so much of the movie and with the PG trailers they cant show you as much. But whatever.
  • Timothy
    I agree with you, Alex, about Red Band trailers online. Seeing how easy it is to access porn, complaining about access to red band trailers seems trite. However, I would strongly contest showing Red and trailers in theaters, even in front of an R rated movie. For example, I don't want to be sitting in the theater watching Frost/Nixon (which is rated R for language only) and see a trailer for some stoner comedy replete with nudity and sex right in the trailer. Now, if you're seeing a stoner comedy like that, it makes perfect sense that a red band trailer would be appropriate. But if you're seeing something like Frost/Nixon I would be offended at seeing a red band trailer. The difference for me is this, you can choose to see a Red Band trailer online. If you're in a packed theater and one comes on, you're in some sense subjugated to that whether you want to watch it or not.
  • Quanah
    Gimmie a break. A kid can access a porn site by just hitting a "Yes" on the "Are you 18 or older" button, but now the FTC is suddenly "Concerned"? How about the FTC concern themselves with all the other accessible content and not a red band trailer. There are far more easily accessible things online besides red band trailers. Sickening.
  • peter T'Sas
    I'm so happy I'm not an American...
  • Xerxex
    Wah wah wah! I'm bored with this already. I mean come on America redbands are not killing the innocence of our youth, as Quanah said porn sites are easy access, and the FTC is worried about a redband? They really need to check themselves.
  • meatcarnage
    Red band? Red band? NAZIS?! Or flat out RED!? COMMUNISM! As a canadian we think the U.S. should stay... but, educate those hicks. They are literally so close to being legally retarded. Stop giving them guns too. These are the types who think about their spiritual well being of their kids. That or old republican conservatives who probably don't spend any time with there children anyways. Red-Band trailers = terrorism.
  • beavis
    #6, that is a "tom cruise" like comment - completly nuts. as far as the trailers are concerned: it's a ridiculous idea that red-band trailers should be a concern at all. any parent who is worried about red-band trailers might as well disconnect their internet......there is far worse (and easily accessible) content available online.
  • Big Red Moose
    It's the parents' resposibility to raise their children with enough moral fibre to make an informed decision, however, I found porn when I was 11 or 12, and I haven't looked back. @meatcarnage, ha ha ha, Us Canadian do rule, eh?
  • L
    It's almost like when a parent finds out that a babysitter has been swearing like crazy, when they aren't around. Or if the parent knew the babysitter was vulgar before, but thought that wouldn't happen to their children. Or if your children get fat, because you bring them to McDonald's everyday for a McNugget meal, so on and so on. The moral of the story is that people will always find someone else to blame other than themselves.
  • mconner666
    As the parent of a 17 year old, I find this concern ridiculous. Parents need to take responsibility and pay attention to their kids. I never bought censored music for my daughter when she was growing up, but I also made sure it was not too far over the line. She liked a Hed (pe) song she heard on XM, I had Blackout already and there was nothing I was concerned about, but when I had bought the new one I listened to it first. That one had many overt sexual references (and a lot about teenage girls) so I loaded the few songs onto the computer that were not so over the top. She never was into violent or scary movies or video games, she likes comedy and animation, but I haven't kept her from watching R-rated comedies since she was about 14. She is a good student, takes AP classes, and she doesn't mind spending time with her parents. She is very well adjusted and I am proud to be her father. Just discuss things with and pay attention to your kids and hopefully they will turn out okay.
  • Jacob Crim
    Its just a movie preview guys, some parents are utterly ridiculous and shelter their kids to the point where they live in a dream world. And Regal used to run Red Band trailers in front of R movies? Man that is genius I have been been complaining that Red Band trailers are not in theaters since I found out about them LOL
  • El
    The MPAA should be shut down and a federally funded organisation with transparency and a remit to abide by the constitution created in it's place funded by a tax on the industry. That organisation could then smack down reactionary freaks and there attempts to shit on your freedoms under the guise of 'protecting the children'.
  • tra la la la la di da
    Red Band or porn? People need to get their priorities straight.
  • Cineprog
    Why don't they go back to the old way of certing trailers if it is a 17 film they are trying to advertise just say give the trailer a PG Cert Advertisng a 17 film, and so on these sort of Red Band trailer are new realy they should only be shown either in front or with a 17 film
  • Nada Nuff
    I think these complainers should educate their children and heavily monitor what they take in. Or, in other words, be parents. Yeah, I think that would work.
  • Al
    I remember seeing a Tropic Thunder red band in front of Step Brothers, and thats what made me decide to see it. If it wasnt for that trailer, I would have ignored what turned out to be one of my favorite 08' flicks. I dont mean to sound melodramatic over such a frivolous issue, but these trailers matter.
  • John
    I do not disagree with your choice of opinion, Alex, but I do disagree with the logic you're using in your opinion. For one, the porn industry is way too big for people to even argue with. There is a lack of responsibility in your statement because you're not seeing the fact that it's not that kids have total access to this all the time, but that it is the industries that make them prone to it. Secondly, it's kinda odd to say that censoring red band trailers isn't gonna make a difference. It's like saying that a court decides to release a murderer on trial because they feel that the people are in danger all the time, so one more killer isn't going to make a difference. How can we expect to keep one sense of reason in one area then act as if another area has a totally different set of issues? The issue here is a moral and responsibility issue, and you've taken a very morally complacent and immature position. Ideas may be just ideas, but all ideas have consequences, and we will pay the price for those consequences.
  • Jacob Crim
    "I remember seeing a Tropic Thunder red band in front of Step Brothers, and thats what made me decide to see it. If it wasnt for that trailer, I would have ignored what turned out to be one of my favorite 08' flicks. I dont mean to sound melodramatic over such a frivolous issue, but these trailers matter." Agreed to the fullest, I would have never seen The Hangover, Hot Tub Time Machine or Kick-Ass(when its released) if not for the Red Band trailers. They give you an idea of what the movie is REALLY going to be....if not for them I would write all these films off as looking retarded
  • chinochubby
    seriously i can't believe PARENTS are complaining, THEY are the one's that have the authority in the house if they can't handle their kid call a shrink or something but seriously if you can't control your son or daughter from watching red band trailers im pretty sure they invented something a while back called parental control, yea try blocking the websites your kids go on instead of protesting or complaining seriously its 2010! your kids are going to find a way whether you like it or not.
  • Ben
    Red band trailers really give you a sense of what the movie is like, which is awesome. And, before I was 17, i would always just make up a birthday so i could access the clips. So, kids will always find ways around things, so there's no reason to fuss about having them on. And, i think they should show them in front of R-rated movies. 1. i dont want to see a preview for Toy Story when i go to see Saw. 2. if there are parents that bring their kids into R-rated movies, then they probably don't care what they see, hence they brought them into an R-rated movie.
  • Daniel F.
    Ugh. Isn't something else people should be complaning about? R-rated trailers aren't are biggest concern right now. In other countries, the rating system is totally different. Why must we always whine about the tiniest crap? Yea, Regal had an awesome idea.
  • maddog 45
    that's it i have had it with of this fucking bullshit about the "parents" of this country wasting there time ranting about how bad RED BAND TRAILER ARE BEING SHOWN KIDS WHO ARE UNDERAGE. it's mom and dad's job to make sure that these trailers are shown to kids who are not 17+ older this is the same thing when parents whine about M-RATED VIDEO GAME TRAILERS WITH EXTREME VIOLENCE, EXPICIT SEX, AND DRUG USE. i think parents all not think outside the box killing red band trailers will only push hollywood to bring them back in a another smart way but a careful way if the age gate isn't working THE MPAA WILL COME UP WITH SOMETHING ELSE NEW TO PROTECT YOUNG ONE FROM SEEING ANY RED BAND TRAILERS BECAUSE I'M SICK OF THESE DUMB MOTHERFUCKING Republican Conservatives WHINING ABOUT THIS. and a another thing my message to parents leave all and i mean all red band trailers. ALONE Because we have bigger problems like fixing the Economy and getting people back to work and not having this discussion about graphic content being shown on the internet in this day and age Parents go up and act smarter than this this is the digital age and to the fucking FTC and FCC you can't be ALLWAYS Be knocking on the MPAA DOOR STEP ALL the time because sooner or later someone going to answer you and it's not going to be pretty because if this discussion is keep on going the next time the only thing The Conservative Parents are going to be thing is opening the gate of hell by pissing off independent filmmakers in hollywood today.
  • maddog 45
    and a another thing i so fucking hate and i mean pure hate CENSORSHIP. I JUST HATE IT
  • big758
    i agree with you maddog 45 I HATE CENSORSHIP TOO.
  • D1reCt
    "Ohh the government needs to do something to protect or children from trailers that aren't appropriate!" People are pathetic, it's the parents fault if there kids watch material that they are to young for, they need to take responsibility for there children and start acting like parents and not a bunch of hopeless wingers that can't do anything on their own. Another option is use a bloody rubber or not have sex in the first place. Censorship only leads to a dictatorsip.
  • In two clicks off Google I could see a person have their head cut off or be shot in the face in real life, not in a cinematic sense. Having recently worked with a group of 12 year olds, that whilst taking a break from the work we were doing looked up 'bare knuckle boxing', 'dog fights' and 'schoolyard violence' on Youtube, I doubt Hollywood has much to worry about. A bunch of well paid actors swearing a little bit isn't going to corrupt anyone, especially not children that have been watching horror and violence from an early age. Really only mentally ill people blame violence on films. The reality of watching people get murdered on the news or frontline police shows has a much more shocking and lasting effect on people, because it's actually happening in reality. Censorship is stupid, in an age where technology is moving faster than film companies can handle there will always be a way around it. But in a world where most reality is often more fucked up that the violence in films, (I won't even go into the sex part because people don't have sex in Hollywood films, they just flash parts of their bodies and rub together), it's possibly only people who live in weird gated communities where they still live in the 1950's that care and who gives a fuck about them? they don't even want to be a part of society and think their better than the rest of us anyway.
  • John
    It's funny how we say that it's the parents' responsibility to keep censorship, because this is coming from a generation that knows nothing of censorship or boundaries. We only want blur the lines.
  • Jacob Crim
    "It's funny how we say that it's the parents' responsibility to keep censorship, because this is coming from a generation that knows nothing of censorship or boundaries. We only want blur the lines." Well its stupid to think that the media should censor EVERYTHING for the sake of children not seeing it, kids are not the only people in the world. Like you said we have not known censorship which makes the majority of my generation (I am 21) desensitized to everything, so it makes no sense at least to me.
  • John
    #28 At least you acknowledge that some people don't fully understand censorship. But it's lot like censoring a few things is gonna make a big deal. We're not censoring EVERYTHING. It's not like there's not enough common sense to see what to censor or not. Like I said earlier, this is a moral issue, and if you're willing to hold morals in one area and not in another you're just showing a lack of consistency and understanding as to what we're discussing. We all know we can't just be open to everything. We censor things out of our own lives ourselves. How can we deny censorship on such things as this. It's finding the bridge between those who don't want some people (specifically younger, immature people) being exposed to this, and those who don't even care because they're "old (or mature) enough to handle it". The only bridge that is necessary, that works the best it's supposed to, is a form of censorship. Getting around these censorships doesn't prove that they don't work, and it doesn't give excuse to take down the censorships. Unfortunately, this leaves it to the parents, and the parents of the upcoming American generation aren't entirely consistent.
  • chris
    RED BAND TRAILERS ARE HERE TO STAY FOREVER
  • don
    Hollywood Should Not Hold Back And Give Up They Should Continue Showing RED BAND TRAILERS ON THE INTERNET ALL THE TIME MY MESSAGE TO PARENTS LEAVE RED BAND TRAILERS ALONE I'M SERIOUS. IT'S YOUR JOB TO MAKE YOUR KIDS WHO ARE UNDERAGE DOESN'T SEE ANY GRAPHIC CONTENT AND TO THE FTC AND THE FCC IT'S NOT YOUR JOB TO BLOCK RED BAND TRAILERS FROM YOUNG ONES IT'S THE MPAA JOB TO DO THAT EVEN WITH IT'S AGE GATE.
  • chinochubby
    i can't wait for the day when parents start contacting condom brands and saying they need to work on their condoms because their kids keep getting pregnant or getting someone pregnant i think someone should give a parent this example to realize how stupid they are for trying to censor red band trailers because this is the exact same thing
  • John
    At #32 Dude, I don't think people can get that stupid. Besides, condoms work a good majority of the time, and we live in an age where things are always getting "better", so I think those companies are probably three steps ahead of you. And besides, condoms and red band trailers are not even close to the exact same thing. I don't even understand why people on this site are freaking out over censorship. People stand up for what they believe in. It's America. You should expect that. People in the US don't have to adhere to 40 bloggers' opinions.

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