The Appeals Board of the Motion Picture Assn. of America has denied the appeal of producers of Miramax’s Martin Lawrence-starrer “You So Crazy,” and refused to change the NC-17 rating recently given to the film.
“All we try to do is reflect what most parents will consider out of bounds for most children,” said Richard D. Heffner, chairman of the Classification & Rating Administration of the MPAA.
As part of the appeals procedure, both Lawrence and attorney Martin Garbus addressed the Board following the Wednesday screening, which was also attended by members of Miramax. Both articulated reasons the rating should be changed, and asserted editing would drastically alter the film.
In an 8-2 vote to uphold the rating, the board unanimously agreed that the language used by Lawrence is inappropriate for moviegoers under 17.
The film’s producers have characterized the rating as an attempt to censor relevant social commentary and cite R-rated films, such as those featuring Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor, as having content similar to Lawrence’s.
Murphy’s “Raw” and Pryor’s “Live on the Sunset Strip” and “Live in Concert” earned X ratings as a result of the language. But editing allowed the films to obtain an R tag.
The decision to uphold the rating was made by equal numbers of reps from the MPAA and the National Assn. of Theater Owners, as is the procedure during appeals screenings.
Miramax said it has not yet decided on a course of action.