by Graham Pierrepoint
US President Donald Trump has this week been depended upon to lead the country in response to the horrific events at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida – and while some of his responses to the disaster have been claiming their own headlines in recent days, the President’s continuing war on school shootings reeks to have bled through to suggesting that certain media be censored, or rated, to ensure that they don’t influence people in the wrong way. This, of course, is a helpful suggestion on paper – but it seems that his words regarding the film industry appear to seem rather familiar – in the sense that we are already implementing these types of system!
Trump recently advised in moment which has since been released online in video format that he believes something needs to be done regarding making sure that children and young people are safeguarded from potentially harmful content. “We have to look at the internet because a lot of bad things are happening to your kids and young minds – and their minds are being formed, and we have to do something about maybe what they’re seeing and how they’re seeing,” the President suggested.
“And also video games – I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts. And you go one further step and that’s the movies – maybe they have to put a rating system for that.” Of course, while this sound bite has been leapt upon by many – particularly as a thorough rating system for film has been in place in the US for decades – it may be a case of reading between the lines here.
Watch: ▶ Trump brings violent movies into school shooting debate
Trump may well be suggesting that there needs to be a middle-ground for certain ratings, as Vox suggests. This is hardly a bad idea – particularly with certain comic book movies, which had previously been seen as somewhat childish to some, getting higher and higher ratings. It should also be noted that despite ratings systems having been in place for considerable years now, horrific events have been blamed upon negative influences in video gaming and in movies several times before – and even in music, too.
Additional ratings for movies may not be a bad idea on paper – and while Trump’s words have been taken largely at face value on this occasion, it isn’t necessarily difficult to see what he meant. We will have to wait and see if any changes occur in the media we consume in the near future.