On June 7, Scripps Howard ran a story about a ruling by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) awarding a PG rating to a new movie by Provident Films, “Facing the Giants.”  The film, which opens September 29, received the PG rating because of its allegedly “religious” character.  Over the past week, the Catholic League made several inquiries regarding this matter, and now its president, Bill Donohue, is asking MPAA chairman and CEO, Dan Glickman, to launch a probe:

“The Scripps Howard story quoted Kris Fuhr, vice president for marketing of Provident Films (owned by Sony), as saying that the MPAA ‘decided that the movie was heavily laden with messages from one religion and that this might offend people from other religions.’  Fuhr said that she was told that the movie was guilty of ‘proselytizing.’  The film includes answered prayers, a miracle and references to Jesus.  We have confirmed Fuhr’s account with her, but we were unsuccessful in getting Gayle Osterberg, vice president of corporate communications for the MPAA, to address our concerns; her initial response was quite encouraging, but then she apparently got cold feet.

“The MPAA gives a PG rating for movies where there is some profanity, violence or brief nudity—not for being too religious.  That is why we are requesting MPAA chief Dan Glickman to investigate what happened in this instance.  We respect the right of the MPAA not to disclose why a movie marked with little profanity, violence and nudity receives a PG rating.  Our interest is whether ‘Facing the Giants’ has occasioned a new objective category of thematic concerns.

“For the past several decades, Hollywood has turned out one Christian-bashing movie after another, and never has any of these films been subjected to an MPAA red flag for its bigoted content.  For the MPAA to flash its red flags at a Christian film—simply because those who are not Christian might be offended—is not something people of any religion should accept.”

Contact Glickman at dan_glickman@mpaa.org

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