Point of View
Profanity, Drugs & Nudity In Cinema: Too Much?
By Trevor Roberts
Jan 18, 2014 - 4:41:46 AM

UNITED STATES—It’s a question that has been asked time and time again? Is there too much profanity, drugs and nudity in movies nowadays? It’s a question worth addressing and quite alarming to learn just how much nudity and over the top profanity is used in movies nowadays. I recall vividly in the 80s and 90s that a curse word or two would land a picture to get an R-rating, nowadays that same notion does not take effect. 


What the MPAA considers PG-13, a lot of people would consider that movie to perhaps be R-rated, so why is that? Well it all goes back to the imagery that is being consumed by youngsters.  They’re minds are fragile and a lot tend to imitate what they see.  Smoking, drinking, sex, profane language, the list goes on and on.


Recently, I’ve seen two pictures with lots of profanity and nudity in them, thankfully, both of these pictures are rated-R, but that doesn’t mean the films are not being seen by those under the age of 17, because let’s face it, children and teens are seeing movies they shouldn’t be seeing time and time again.

"The Wolf of Wall Street" is drawing lots of controversy.


The movie that has been getting loads of controversy is “The Wolf of Wall Street” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Martin Scorsese. Yes, I was warned about the debauchery and the amount of sex in the movie, but it did take me for a loop, as I’m not use to such exposure in a Scorsese film; the violence yes, the overindulgence in sex, drugs and profane language not so much.

Not by a hair is the movie for kids, tweens or teens. Within the first 10 minutes of the picture the audience is delivered two graphic sex scenes, and that is just the beginning of an overindulgence of cocaine use and sex-crazed characters. Watching this movie, I couldn’t help but think did all of this really happen? Did Jordan Belfort live a life this over the top and this crazed? It was a tough pill to swallow, but I wasn’t completely tainted by what was depicted on the screen. Unfortunately, we live in a world where sex and drugs are apart of daily life, not to the excess depicted in the picture though. For those not in the know, the movie has set a record use the F-word more than 500 times in the film’s three hour time frame. That’s indeed a lot of F-bombs.


That same notion could be echoed in “Dallas Buyers Club” while the amount of nudity is not over the top, the usage of drugs do indeed come to the forefront again. While I think depicting drugs in cinema is important as a cautionary tale, it has to be presented in a way that the picture doesn’t glorify doing it; that would be the big difference between “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Dallas Buyers Club.” One picture glorifies the excitement of drugs, while the other presents the cautionary tale of what can happen when you engage in such activity. It leads you down a very dark path that can be destructive, and once on that path, it’s nearly impossible to stop.


Cinema has been notorious for depicting things that people on the outside looking tend to glorify or think to be cool. Smoking is bad, and it used to be a staple in many pictures in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.  Nowadays, it still exists, but not as much. The same with nudity, it slowly began to creep in cinema in the 1970s, and in my opinion exploded in cinema in the 1980s, with the overconsumption of horror pictures, where nudity was a must; even though it had no direct effect on the plot of the movie, it was being done for eye candy and quite pathetic thrills to say the least.


In today’s cinema, sensuality as the MPAA has categorized it has snuck into the PG-13 movies, and to some degree while it’s not a full-blown sex scene, it is indeed implied and pushed to the point where a youngster has an idea of what is taking place. More potty language is being used as well, more than what should be seen in a PG-13 movie, while nudity could suggest a bare butt or side-boob as some call it today, it’s starting to creep into cinema more.


While the Motion Picture Association of America has set new guidelines to define how to categorize movies, more steps must be taken to protect the overexposure of specific content to those who should not view it. Remember, children are inquisitive and want to know about things that peak their interest, the more they see it the more they want to know about it. Until they are at an age where it all makes sense, we have to be prepared to educate them in a way that doesn’t glorify bad behavior that causes more problems down the line.

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