Michael Moore Rejects R Rating for ‘Where to Invade Next’

     November 2, 2015


Michael Moore’s latest film Where to Invade Next has been rated R by the MPAA, and that’s just not sitting right with him. The filmmaker announced Monday via press release that he rejects the rating and will appeal the MPAA.

The comedy Where to Invade Next sees Moore as an “invader” landing in different countries, stealing some of their good ideas, and bringing them back to the U.S. The film was given the R rating due to “language, some violent images, drug use and brief graphic nudity.”

Moore’s full statement reads:

It’s amazing how 25 years have passed—we invented the internet, gay marriage is legal and we elected an African American President of the United States, but the MPAA is still intent on censoring footage that is available from any evening network news show. This film has been widely praised by critics for it’s warmth and humor and optimism. What is the real reason I keep getting all these ‘R’ ratings. I wish the MPAA would just be honest and stick a label on my movies saying: ‘This movie contains dangerous ideas that the 99% may find upsetting and lead them to revolt. Teens will be the most agitated when they learn they will soon be $80,000 in debt just by going to school.


Image via TIFF

Moore’s words were accompanied by some from distributors Tom Quinn, Jason Janego, and Tim League.

With this rating, the MPAA is effectively telling high schoolers they just aren’t mature enough to handle or discuss important issues directly affecting their pursuit of the American dream. The notion that a teenager can’t walk into a theater and see Where To Invade Next is ridiculous and frankly un-American.

Moore’ previous films Capitalism: A Love Story, Fahrenheit 9/11, Bowling for Columbine, and Roger & Me all received R ratings. He described his previous trials with the MPAA, which deemed Roger & Me inappropriate for minors due to a scene in which a rabbit is killed for dinner. As Moore explained in his 2002 book Stupid White Men, no mention was made of the scene that transpired a few moments later — the shooting of an African-American man by police.

Regardless of Moore’s struggles, this is not the first time filmmakers have been battling the MPAA on the seemingly unfair standards. Films with LGBT-heavy themes and content have also been widely labeled R, a recent example of such controversy being Ira Sach’s Love Is Strange.

As for Where to Invade Next, we’ll be able to see it and pass our own judgements when it drops in limited release in New York and Los Angeles starting December 23rd. And if you’re curious about precisely what, in the film, was cited for its R-rating, Moore took to Twitter this evening to reveal the “offending” moments:




Image via TIFF

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