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November 2, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

British director Tom Hooper has lashed out at the MPAA ratings board after the board slapped his critically acclaimed movie The King’s Speech with an R rating for a scene in which a speech therapist encourages the future King George VI to let loose with a torrent of four-letter words as part of the therapy to cure his stuttering. Noting that the ratings board routinely gives films depicting horrendous violence PG-13 ratings, Hooper told Los Angeles Times columnist Patrick Goldstein, “What really upsets me is that the boundaries for violence have been pushed farther and farther back while any kind of bad language remains taboo. … I can’t think of a single film I’ve ever seen where the swear words had haunted me forever, the way a scene of violence or torture has, yet the ratings board only worries about the bad language.” Goldstein noted that the British ratings board, which had initially given The King’s Speech a 15 certificate, later reconsidered and changed it to a 12A, which allows children 12 and older to see it. Joan Graves, who heads the MPAA’s rating board, defended its decision regarding the film, saying, “We’ve made clear what our language guidelines are, and it’s not fair, in fact it would look arbitrary, if we threw it out for just one film.”