3 Generations R Rating kerfuffle: Phase two publicity stunt?
Originally introduced as “About Ray” in 2014, 3 Generations may have to wait another generation before being seen by a third of its target audience.
The news of the MPAA R rating frustrated the cast, crew and baffled our community. Why go to all this bother to make a movie that so few can see?
Naomi, who stars in and executive produced the drama, released a statement explaining that it is essential for adolescents to see the film because it deals with difficult yet important issues. “This film is a beautiful and touching story about family and identity. It is important for teenagers to see it,” Naomi said, adding that the rating does not accurately reflect the real world. “The ‘R’ rating doesn’t reflect today’s society,” the 48-year-old actress stated.
The Mission Impossible star also listed reasons why she believes the movie is so special. “3 Generations doesn’t have a bad bone in its body, it’s an expression of love, acceptance, strength, and honesty, values that could not be more necessary right now.”
Her co-star Susan Sarandon released her own passionate statement, in which she urges the importance of making the film accessible to youth, particularly those who are transgender. “ 3 Generations is an important movie for everyone to see, especially transgender youth who are feeling isolated or fearful and their families. It’s ridiculous to have an R rating which would prevent this audience from seeing the film.”
At first take, this rating battle pits a truth telling underdog movie maker against the monolithic misogynistic male dominated rating system. But it may not innocent as it seems. Is the fight over the rating just phase two of a publicity stunt?
Claire-Renee Kohner introduced us to “About Ray” which we now know as “Three Generations” in 2015 article It’s a Shame ‘About Ray’,
“The (original) trailer, which appeared on Vanity Fair, (but has since been taken down at the request of the studio) stars Naomi Watts as Ray’s mother, who is completely on board with her son’s transition, and Tate Donovan, who plays Ray’s absent father, who is seemingly resistant to HRT. Susan Sarandon play’s Ray’s grandmother, who appears to be there to just ask uneducated questions like, “Why can’t she just be a lesbian?
Based on an idea by Director Gaby Dellal [On a Clear Day] and written by Nikole Beckwith, the indie film had a $5 million budget and is described by the Hollywood Reporter as “an exploration of identity that centers on a New York City teen, Ray (Fanning), transitioning from female to male and her single mother, Maggie (Watts), who is coming to terms with having to raise her only daughter as a son.”
When the movie was announced in November of last year, TheAtlantic ran an article titled, “Is Elle Fanning Taking a Role from a Transgender Actor?” which stated, “That’s not a question for actors; it’s a question for producers and directors. Fanning did not literally take the role from a trans actor, because it was not offered to a trans actor.”
The Weinstein Company didn’t just send casting calls to trans-actors they made a spectacle of saying they purposely excluded transgender actors.
Obviously, Harvey Weinstein is well educated about the intricacies of transition, so it’s not unreasonable to assume that he also understands what triggers responses from the transgender community.
If that was phase one they accomplished their goal. A lot of people wrote about it then.
No one — not even Kris Jenner herself — is as slick with self-generating buzz as Harvey Weinstein. The latest case? The Weinstein Company announcing that it is gearing up for a fight with the MPAA over an R rating for its trans teen drama 3 Generations. “The fact that an R rating would prevent high-school students from seeing this film would truly be a travesty,” Weinstein said in a statement released Thursday. “The MPAA and I were able to come to an agreement on Bully and I am confident that we will be able to do so again.”
As that statement implies, all this has happened before — a couple of times, actually. When a Weinstein release needs an awards-season push or a box-office boost, the company’s head honcho is a master of ringing up the MPAA and declaring war. This is the man who created the modern Oscar campaign, after all. (Then again, every unsavory thing you’ve heard about Harvey Weinstein is a lie.) It happens so often, in fact, that we’ve just got to assume Harvey Weinstein has an iCal alert that goes off once every few months, reminding him to stage a battle royale with the MPAA.
Vulture cites examples which they say validate their suspicions.
There was 1994: Clerks, 2008: Zack and Miri Make a Porno, 2010: Blue Valentine, 2011: The King’s Speech, 2012: Bully, 2013: Philomena, and last but not least 2017: 3 Generations in which they wrote :
“Now, here we are, with Weinstein Company once again lawyering up to contest a rating. We’ll see what happens with the rating, but the primary goal — getting people to write about 3 Generations — seems to be working so far.”
The original trailer dove fearlessly headfirst into many of the emotional hot button topics that encompass youth transition. These are the same issues that make religious conseritives projectile hurl.
The trailer released April 2017 didn’t make mention of reproduction or menstruation. Is it possible this latest version was released to appease the conservative patriarchy? Or is this all a cheap publicity stunt for exposure at the expense of AUTHENTIC TRANSGENDER people?
I seriously tear up when watching the first trailer. I hope sans trans-actor or not we have a chance to see 3 Generations. Its that good.
Could they have not known about the rating issue? It’s doubtful given their history, But hey, either way, they have us writing about them, again.