Wednesday, October 29, 2008

CTFD: The Zach and Miri Make A Porno Controversy

I don't know if you've heard, but there's controversy brewing over the new Kevin Smith romantic comedy, Zach and Miri Make A Porno. The film, which opens on Oct. 31st and features Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks as platonic best friends and roommates who decide to make a porn movie to get out of debt has caused a ruckus due to its title and marketing strategy. According to the head of marketing at the studio releasing the film (the Weinstein Co.), some newspaper, TV, and outdoor ads have been rejected because it contains the dreaded five-letter word "porno". Along with various media outlets raising a fuss, the Motion Picture Association of America decided to get in on the act. Feeling that it was too suggestive, the MPAA banned the movie poster directly below (it will only be displayed in Canada and on websites and blogs like mine).

Once the above poster was squashed, Weinstein went back to the drawing board and came up with this ad:

Diane Levin, who wrote the book So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids, says she was shocked by the ads she saw for the film in Boston. "My expertise is with young children," Levin says. "I thought, they're going to see the stick-figure drawings and they're going to think 'Gee! this must be a movie for me!' "

The title of this post began with the abbreviation CTFD, which means "calm the fuck down" and that's what I would say to anyone making a big deal out of the ads for Zach and Miri Make A Porno. Any sane adult is in favor of protecting kids. However, some adults go overboard and that doesn't do kids any good. Children by nature are just like the monkey who hangs out with "The Man with the Yellow Hat". When they ask questions, why not try something wild and crazy like answering them! Like Kevin Smith said, if a kid asks "What's a porno?" answer by telling them "It's a movie not for you."

To read more on the Zach and Miri Make A Porno controversy, click here and here.

In unrelated (but ironic) news, Deep Throat director Gerard Damiano died last Saturday at the age of 80.

Although it has nothing to do with the Zach and Miri Make A Porno dustup, I still wanted to include the clip to one of my favorite songs from the Alternative Nation era. It's the video for Pets by the band Porno For Pyros.


Jay said...

I find it pretty hilarious that networks like Fox are refusing to run the trailer for Zach and Miri Make a Porno, but the ads for pills that makes your pee-pee hard are still okay.

Jessica said...

It's funny that you are posting about this! I've been going Kevin Smith crazy this week getting ready for the movie. I'm going to see Zach and Miri Make a Porno on Friday! I'm a big Kevin Smith fan. His 3rd evening with Kevin Smith DVD came out last week. It's pretty funny. :)

Anyway, I agree with you--chill out. I hate it when people get all up in arms...when they don't even have an idea what the movie/book etc is about. It happens all of the time.

There are posters, billboards, and TV ads that depict half naked my opinion, much worse for children.

clnmike said...

That is out right stupid, of all the things shown on TV and casble they worried about the word porno.

Doesnt Fox FX? Half the shows on there are shocking.

Candy Minx said...

I loved the band Porno For Pyros!

This was an awesome post...and I think both movie posters are fantastic! I love the one with stick drawings. Why can't adults do grown up things anymore...does the whole world have to revolve around kids and adults ideas of how to keep them away from anything. Kids can handle it...I think this is a ridiculous controversy and not every movie or art work has to consider what parents feel. Parents should alway be ready for answering their kids questions with a good answer...and Smith's response was perfect.

Thanks Malcolm for making this issue up front here...I had no idea this was a controversy.

Malcolm said...

Jay: Fox' has been mind-boggling to me for years.

Jessica: Some of these same people who are upset about "Zach and Miri Make a Porno" were probably also in an uproar over the 1999 Watergate comedy titled "Dick".

Clnmike: Yup, Fox and FX are under the same corporate umbrella. By the way, I just read that "Zach and Miri Make a Porno" has been banned in Salt Lake City. When the spokesman for the theater chain was asked why "Saw V" (which features beheadings and mutilations) is being shown, they had no comment. Big shocker.

Candy: Thanks! I had Porno For Pyros' first album on cassette. I think the stick figure ad was pretty clever too. The thing that people sometimes fail to realize is that when they drum up a controversy over something, that makes people more interested to see/hear it.

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