By Nancy Bresson, associate editor,
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L.A. Youth should not review R-rated movies

Subject: Movie reviews
Date: Tues., Dec. 21, 1999

Dear Editor,

I was very excited when I came across your site while surfing the Internet … what a great place for teens to go. However, I was very shocked by the two movies you have chosen to review and post on your site. Both films, Fight Club and Bringing Out The Dead are not only rated R, but they are extremely violent in nature and are not the type of films that a responsible organization should be promoting to teens. Why in the world would you have a 15-year-old boy review an R-rated movie for such a young audience? This just seems extremely irresponsible to me.

Concerned Public

Dear Concerned Public,

Thank you for e-mailing LA Youth.

As the entertainment editor, I can tell you that it is not irresponsible for a 15-year-old to review those R-rated movies because the teen was accompanied by an adult (his mom) when he watched the films, just as the rating requires.

And through conversations with our teen staff, we know the reality is that teens are not naive about violence and mature content and it would be irresponsible for us NOT to showcase these mature movies from a teen’s perspective. That’s what the newspaper’s all about: teens talking to teens about what’s on their minds, including R-rated movies.

Nancy Bresson
L.A. Youth Entertainment Editor

"Ratings are stupid. Our parents still give us permission to see R-rated movies."
—Andrew Lopez, 18, Kennedy HS

"Impressionable kids should be protected. Their parents aren’t there all the time."
—Jackie Lee, 20, Cal State University Northridge

"Either way, teens are going to see violence on the news. They don’t rate violence on the news, so why should they rate the movies?"
—Christina, 16, Centennial HS

"There’s worse stuff in everyday life."
—Jordan O’Neil, 18, Notre Dame HS

Photos and quotes gathered on Melrose Avenue by Alia Aidyraliera, Ambar Espinoza, Gabriela Galindo, Johnathon Lewis, Matt Jones, Zayra Matthews and Nicholas Williams.

More movies got an R than any other rating, out of 673 films rated in 1997.

3 percent G (All ages admitted)
14 percent PG (Some material may not be suitable for children)
17 percent PG-13 (Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13)
64 percent R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian)
0.6 percent NC-17 or X (No one 17 and under admitted)

Source: Motion Picture Association of America in the International Motion Picture Almanac