It’s another battle between Michael Moore and the Motion Picture Association of America. The documentarian announced Monday that he “will reject” and appeal the MPAA in the wake of his new movie, Where to Invade Next, being given an R rating. Moore alleges the omniscient film body has ulterior motives in the rating.
“It’s amazing how 25 years have passed — we invented the Internet, gay marriage is legal and we elected an African American President of the United States, but the MPAA is still intent on censoring footage that is available from any evening network news show,” Moore said in a statement.
“What is the real reason I keep getting all these ‘R’ ratings. I wish the MPAA would just be honest and stick a label on my movies saying: ‘This movie contains dangerous ideas that the 99 percent may find upsetting and lead them to revolt. Teens will be the most agitated when they learn they will soon be $80,000 in debt just by going to school.'”
Where to Invade Next is described as a comedy that tracks the director “invading” other countries to gather ideas and inspiration for how the U.S. could improve. At the Toronto International Film Festival, Moore told EW the film “is not what you think it is” and said the idea for it “has been percolating for 20 to 30 years.”
Moore’s first film in six years was given an R rating for “for language, some violent images, drug use and brief graphic nudity,” according to a release from Moore’s reps. Many of Moore’s former works have been given R ratings, including Capitalism: A Love Story, Fahrenheit 9/11, Bowling for Columbine, and Roger & Me.
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Moore asserts in his 2002 book Stupid White Men that a Roger & Me scene featuring a rabbit being killed for food was cited as a reason for the reading, “but a few minutes later in the movie, the police shoot an African American man right on camera, and no mention was made at all over that by the MPAA. I guess we’re supposed to have gotten used to that image, so there’s nothing shocking enough about it to warrant an ‘R’ rating.”
The MPAA did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.
Where to Invade Next will be released in Los Angeles and New York on Dec. 23.