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So Not Fetch: The MPAA Tried To Give “Mean Girls” An R Rating

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“We had lots of battles with the ratings board on the movie. There was the line, ‘Amber D’Alessio gave a blow job to a hot dog,’ which eventually became ‘Amber D’Alessio made out with a hot dog.’ Which is somehow weirder! That’s the thing we found: When you’re trying to make a joke obey the rules and not use any bad words, it can actually become seamier, even. … The line in the sand that I drew was the joke about the wide-set vagina. The ratings board said, ‘We can’t give you a PG-13 unless you cut that line.’ We ended up playing the card that the ratings board was sexist, because ‘Anchorma’n had just come out, and Ron Burgundy had an erection in one scene, and that was PG-13. We told them, ‘You’re only saying this because it’s a girl, and she’s talking about a part of her anatomy. There’s no sexual context whatsoever, and to say this is restrictive to an audience of girls is demeaning to all women.’ And they eventually had to back down.”

In honor of the 10th anniversary of “Mean Girls” (gah, I’m old), director Mark Waters shared 10 juicy behind-the-scenes tales from Tina Fey’s best movie ever. In addition to sharing that Rachel McAdams was almost cast as Cady Heron, Amanda Seyfried was almost cast as Regina George, and Amy Poehler was almost not cast at all, Waters shared a particularly sexist struggle that the filmmakers had with the MPAA board. The movie ratings organization is notoriously more condemnatory when it’s female sexual pleasure onscreen (rather than male) as well as slang words about female anatomy. (Watch the documentary “This Film Is Not Yet Rated” for so much appalling shit about the MPAA.) Not surprisingly, the latter was absolutely true in the case of “Mean Girls,” where the filmmakers had to fight valiantly to keep in the phrase “wide-set vagina.” Oh, Tina Fey. Keep on fighting the good fight. [NYMag.com]

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