Zack and Miri Make a Porno hits theaters this coming weekend, and that means The Weinsteain Company will be beginning the biggest push of its marketing campaign, and it also means they’ll be up against more banning. After fighting the MPAA successfully to get an R-rating, Zack and Miri has since been embroiled in controversy over its advertising. First, the movie’s poster was banned, and replaced by a poster bearing only simple, unoffensive stick figures. In the past few weeks, even those stick figures have come under fire, from groups who scream that the mere use of the word porno is damaging to their kids.
Tonight on the latest edition of his weekly podcast “Smodcast”, Zack and Miri writer/director Kevin Smith and his producing partner Scott Mosier spent their entire hour discussing the Zack and Miri Make a Porno advertising issue in detail. During the podcast, Smith was careful to avoid calling what’s happening censorship, saying that the Weinstein Company wanted to make it a censorship issue, but that he didn’t think it was.
What he and Scott Mosier do think it is though, is ridiculous. “I’m not pushing an agenda. It’s a fucking comedy,” said Kevin in response to claims that he’s trying to mainstream the porn industry. Sorry folks, porn has already been mainstream for years now and oh by the way, Zack and Miri Make a Porno isn’t about the porn industry. Of course the people protesting it would know that, if they’d seen it, which as usual they haven’t.
The real complaint seems to stem from people trying to protect their children, parents complaining that they don’t want to have to explain to their sons and daughters what the word “porno” means. Kevin wonders, “When did we become afraid or terrified in this country of having to explain a word to a child?” As a parent with a young daughter, Smith is in a unique position to address this strange attitude. He says, “I just don’t understand what parent is that terrified to have a discussion with their child. Kid asks me a tough question, I’m gonna give her an answer. I’m not gonna to phrase it the way I’d phrase it to you…”
Ultimately, this isn’t a movie for kids, they’ve followed all the very strict MPAA rules, and Mosier doesn’t see what the problem is. Scott said, “We don’t have to live in a world where everything is for everybody. Most movies are not made for kids. Obviously the movies that are made for kids are labeled for kids.” And no movie could possibly more clearly labeled than Zack and Miri Make a Porno. If you’re a parent, you know from the title everything you need to know about it. Truth in advertising is a rare thing. Says Smith, “It’s not like we’re running commercials during Hannah Montana. It’s an R-rated movie. If you’re going to come out against this one, come out against every R-rated movie that has a poster in public.” Use your heads people. Mosier sums the whole situation up pretty well when he says, “At a certain point I think we have to stop treating everybody like they’re fucking stupid.”
If you’re interested in Zack and Miri Make a Porno, or even if you’re just interested in a sensible discussion of where the hell we’re all headed as a society, make it a point to click over to Quickstop Entertainment and listen to Smodcast Episode 67, or direct download it right here.