Study shows gun violence in PG-13 has tripled since 1985, expert - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Study shows gun violence in PG-13 has tripled since 1985, experts weigh in


A new study from Ohio State University shows the amount of gun violence in PG-13 films has tripled since 1985.

The research claims the "most popular PG-13 movies of 2011 and 2012 showed significantly more gun violence than R-rated movies of the same period."

One of those movies, "The Dark Knight Rises," even surprised SCAD Film Department Chair Chris Auer.

"There's so much violence in that movie," he said. "I remember watching that and thinking that it was rated R, and then finding out it was rated PG-13."

Auer said film makers have certainly been pushing the envelope these past few years.

"It's a little disturbing to me," he said. Auer said parents usually think their children will be fine in PG-13 movies, but that there is, in fact, plenty of questionable material in those films.

So, how exactly does this happen? Auer said it's all about the Benjamins.

"The reason that they do it is because they want bigger box offices. Let's say you submit it to the MPAA, it gets an R rating, and you know an R rating is going to bring down your box office a little bit so you can appeal that."

The Motion Picture Association of America, the organization responsible for rating films, then asks for trims or cuts. Auer said directors usually go back in and are able to usually get away with only removing seconds of the film to get the rating knocked down to PG-13.

A recent example of this is "The Wolf of Wall Street." According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film originally got an NC-17 rating. After some nudity and sex scenes were cut, the rating was knocked down to an R.

Auer said he was also surprised by the violence in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire." But, he added, the movie would have never gotten higher than a PG-13 rating because of the strong youth audience attached to the books.

Auer stressed that parents do have options when it comes to pre-screening movies.

"There's a thing called IMDB. Internet Movie Database. It lists what's in the film. It's all specifically laid out in the parental advisory."

To download the IMDB app, click here.

To read the movie violence study, click here.

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