• Gary Cox

Rescuing 'Mature' Entertainment


Firstly, I am a strong supporter of the freedom of expression in all its forms and would never infringe on the rights and freedoms of others. The following are some of my personal thoughts on the state of humanity and the culture of entertainment, not on the state of ratings and regulation.

In the entertainment industry as well as the world as a whole, we throw around this term "mature content" or even "adult entertainment" very loosely without really understanding its implications. What exactly is "mature" content? What is "adult" content? Now, I understand these are standards set in place by the Content Rating System and organizations, but how has this influenced us on a larger scale? If I were to ask you, "what is a mature person?" chances are you would respond with something like "educated, level headed, kind," etc. What about an adult person or someone who is "adult?" Chances are you would say, "responsible, hard working, and self-sacrificing." All true. Now let's say I asked you to define "mature" and "adult" in reference to content or entertainment. Your answer would be different. The list might contain "nudity, sex, graphic violence, crude language, drug use" and so on.

I think it's important we rescue these terms mature and adult. We need to make them, in the entertainment world, terms that describe uplifting, inspiring, educated, and honest content. Not in all cases, but in most, mature and adult movies are anything but. They encourage the worst of humanity: lust, hatred, violence, and we call it entertaining.

This is not to say that all entertainment needs to be on the same level as Sesame Street. What I am saying is we must consider whether or not what we're watching is crude because it needs to be or if it's crude because we want it to be. If we want it to be, then what does that say about us? To be entertained by the worst in humanity is the worst a human can be. There's a time and a place for telling stories which may not be appropriate for everyone; I would argue, however, that by showing less we actually say more. The implication of terrible things is just as impactful as showing them in all their horror. These things that make content "adult" or "mature" are not as necessary as we may think. I believe we have become so numb to it all and it has all become so "normal." We don't really take a closer look and ask "is this necessary" or "is this beneficial?"

I believe if we really looked more closely, not at the entertainment itself, but ourselves and why we

Firstly, I am a strong supporter of the freedom of expression in all its forms and would never infringe on the rights and freedoms of others. The following are some of my personal thoughts on the state of humanity and the culture of entertainment, not on the state of ratings and regulation.

In the entertainment industry as well as the world as a whole, we throw around this term "mature content" or even "adult entertainment" very loosely without really understanding its implications. What exactly is "mature" content? What is "adult" content? Now, I understand these are standards set in place by the Content Rating System and organizations, but how has this influenced us on a larger scale? If I were to ask you, "what is a mature person?" chances are you would respond with something like "educated, level headed, kind," etc. What about an adult person or someone who is "adult?" Chances are you would say, "responsible, hard working, and self-sacrificing." All true. Now let's say I asked you to define "mature" and "adult" in reference to content or entertainment. Your answer would be different. The list might contain "nudity, sex, graphic violence, crude language, drug use" and so on.

I think it's important we rescue these terms mature and adult. We need to make them, in the entertainment world, terms that describe uplifting, inspiring, educated, and honest content. Not in all cases, but in most, mature and adult movies are anything but. They encourage the worst of humanity: lust, hatred, violence, and we call it entertaining.

This is not to say that all entertainment needs to be on the same level as Sesame Street. What I am saying is we must consider whether or not what we're watching is crude because it needs to be or if it's crude because we want it to be. If we want it to be, then what does that say about us? To be entertained by the worst in humanity is the worst a human can be. There's a time and a place for telling stories which may not be appropriate for everyone; I would argue, however, that by showing less we actually say more. The implication of terrible things is just as impactful as showing them in all their horror. These things that make content "adult" or "mature" are not as necessary as we may think. I believe we have become so numb to it all and it has all become so "normal." We don't really take a closer look and ask "is this necessary" or "is this beneficial?"

I believe if we really looked more closely, not at the entertainment itself, but ourselves and why we like "adult" content, we won't really like what we see. If the goal is to tell a story that brings out the best in humanity and "mature" material is necessary, then go there. All I'm asking is for each of us to really consider the impact what we're making and watching is having on us. I would never ban someone from making any form of art that doesn't directly or literally hurt anyone. However, we need to take a serious look at the condition of ourselves in light of what we find entertaining. I believe we all can do a lot better in being truly mature and adult. I'm reminded of a conversation in the Simpsons…

Lisa: "But it's not fair. Adults always blame kids for everything!"

Homer: "Well, if kids are so innocent, why is everything bad named after them? Acting childish. Kidnapping. Child abuse.."

Bart: "What about adultery?"

Homer: "Not until you're older, son."

P.S. Comedy is almost another topic all together. I would argue that most comedy points out the absurdity of the worst in humanity and therefore has more room for approaching things that are mature or adult. Again, what I find necessary and what you find necessary will probably be different. As I stated, I'm just asking the question and making the conversation "what is necessary in mature and adult content?" Is it really mature? Or just bad?

Please, let me know what you think in the comment section below. like "adult" content, we won't really like what we see. If the goal is to tell a story that brings out the best in humanity and "mature" material is necessary, then go there. All I'm asking is for each of us to really consider the impact what we're making and watching is having on us. I would never ban someone from making any form of art that doesn't directly or literally hurt anyone. However, we need to take a serious look at the condition of ourselves in light of what we find entertaining. I believe we all can do a lot better in being truly mature and adult. I'm reminded of a conversation in the Simpsons...

Lisa: "But it's not fair. Adults always blame kids for everything!"

Homer: "Well, if kids are so innocent, why is everything bad named after them? Acting childish. Kidnapping. Child abuse.."

Bart: "What about adultery?"

Homer: "Not until you're older, son."

P.S. Comedy is almost another topic all together. I would argue that most comedy points out the absurdity of the worst in humanity and therefore has more room for approaching things that are mature or adult. Again, what I find necessary and what you find necessary will probably be different. As I stated, I'm just asking the question and making the conversation "what is necessary in mature and adult content?" Is it really mature? Or just bad?

Please, let me know what you think in the comment section below.


Written By Gary Cox

Edited By Marcy Cox

2020 NORTHWARD FILMS 

PHONE | (720) 951-1509

EMAIL | gcox@northwardfilms.com