In theory, the MPAA is a friendly, helpful organization which filmmakers voluntarily submit their films to for ratings classification, as a way to help moviegoers determine whether or the film is something they’d want to watch. In practice, the MPAA is a lot like the mob. Because theaters generally refuse to play movies which have not been rated by the MPAA, the MPAA has an incredible amount of power over not only the movies you watch, but the way in which they are marketed. Studios need that MPAA certification if anyone is going to see their movies, and the MPAA has used that fact to gain complete control over just about every aspect of the movie industry.

For instance, want an MPAA rating for your film? Then you’d better make sure your movie posters meet their standards. They don’t like your poster, either change it or don’t get a rating. They police all sorts of things that have nothing to do with rating movies. Movie posters, movie trailers, and of course they’re heavily involved in the campaign to stop piracy by punishing legitimate, paying moviegoers. Now, you can add one more thing to their protection racket. The MPAA has started policing the internet.

Twitch is reporting that the MPAA objected to the blood spurting stumps (see an example of it to your right) on the official website for the new gory horror movie Severance, and have forced Magnolia Pictures to take down the website and replace it with something more tame and MPAA approved. You can see their new, watered-down website here.

Here’s the thing… if you’re going to visit the official website for the movie Severance, you’re only going there because you want to find out more about a gory horror movie. You are choosing to go there. It’s not being thrust in your face against your will like a movie poster. A bunch of silly blood shouldn’t be a problem, because it’s no worse than what you’ll see in the movie which you will also choose to see. Kids aren’t going to the Severance website, kids don’t even know the movie exists. So who is the MPAA trying to protect here? No one. They’re just using this as an excuse to flex their muscles and gain Gestapo-like control over yet another area of the movie industry that is absolutely none of their business.

You can see an animated example of the headless, blood-spurting stump that the MPAA didn’t like on the Severance MySpace Page.

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