Should a PG-13 Version of Deadpool Be Released?
Deadpool recently received an “R” rating from the MPAA. This prompted comics writer Grace Randolph (who’s written for Marvel, as well as BOOM!) to take to her YouTube show Behind the Trailer to argue for a PG-13 cut of the upcoming Deadpool movie, based on a letter she received from a viewer whose son was arguing for the privilege. Randolph has even started a petition so that parents who want to help make this happen can join forces. You can check out her thorough argument (as well as the argument made by the viewer’s eight-year-old son) in the video above.
This reminded me of a review I wrote at Pink Raygun way back when the film Kick-Ass came out, wherein I argued that Hit-Girl is a great role model for little girls despite the stylized hyper-violence. The part I thought of was my discussion of the “R” rating, and why parents need to stop being so afraid of it:
Let’s remember that an R rating on a film means that it is Restricted without a parent or guardian. It doesn’t mean children shouldn’t see it. It means that children shouldn’t see it without an adult they know, love, and trust, walking them through it and explaining it to them. It’s so interesting that, rather than take an R rated film as an opportunity, a vehicle through which they can approach the more difficult subjects with their children, parents use an R rating as a Keep Out sign. Because it’s far easier to not go to a movie at all than it is to sit next to a child squeamishly in a film where people might have sex, or might kill each other, and actually, you know, TALK to them about it.
To me, a PG-13 version of Deadpool is unnecessary, not because “Deadpool wouldn’t be Deadpool” without it, but because parents already can take their children to see it. If little Matthew is old enough to appreciate and get the jokes in the Deadpool trailer, he may be old enough to see Deadpool as it is.
Perhaps, rather than trying to sanitize the world for their children, parents could instead teach their children how to live in it by, you know, giving them context.
What if this mom had a conversation with her son about violence and sex and nudity (and when cursing is or isn’t allowed) before seeing the movie, preparing the kid for what he’s going to see? Or, you know, just didn’t take him to see it, waiting until he’s older to watch it on Netflix or Blu-ray? Either way, it’s a parent’s job to decide what their child should see or shouldn’t see. It’s not the necessarily the job of creators to tailor already-created work to be child-appropriate.
What do you think?
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