Are audiences so sensitive and offended by movie content nowadays?


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It just seems that way, as Hollywood never wants to make anything, that they afraid may offend anyone in the slightest, especially comedies. Everyone wants to play it safe it seems.

I don't know how all this started in the last few years though. The only thing that I could come up with is the Me too movement. Not that I have anything against the movement at all, but it shouldn't turn people into sensitive ninnies, or maybe it's not audiences that are, so much as the filmmakers being afraid of possibly offending anyone.

But it feels like it may be a society thing as well as people are pushing for movies to be in a more censored Hays code form, like back in the Hays code days. Back in the 20s, there were some scandals going on in Hollywood, that lead to the birth of the Hays code.

Now we have another set of scandals going in Hollywood with the Metoo movement, and a new Hays-like code, is gradually starting to form all over again. It's not an official code yet, but the way people do not want to see anything that is possibly deemed controversial, it could very well turn into one. History repeating itself it seems.

But does anyone else see this being the case, and is perhaps bothered by this, or do I have it wrong possibly?

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Is it just me or haven't you made this kind of thread at least three times? I mean, it's not an unworthy subject to discuss, but there are so many much more interesting aspects about movies for me than "are audiences getting too sensitive". The fact is, there are still filmmakers who are willing to experiment and tell any kind of stories they want to, no matter what the audience thinks. Quentin Tarantino didn't start toning his movies down for a modern audience, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood isn't much less edgy than his early works like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. People will always come with their loud and obnoxious reactions, but the fact remains that it's always gonna be the MPAA that's really threatening the movie industry. And even they can't stop an ambitious filmmaker from making their voice heard.

Even though there are problems with the modern film industry, I don't think movies as an artform is in any danger dying out.

It's late and bedtime for me, so I'll just say for now that: You're right there is an over sensitivity in Hollywood film making these days. I think it comes from society in general and isn't just a movie thing. I don't think the Me Too movement caused it, though it did influence attitudes in film making just as all important events have shaped cinema. But it's not exactly like the Hays Code...I mean you can easily see genital and sex in main stream movies, that never happened during the Hays Code. If you ask me the over sensitivity comes from people having their attitudes shaped by online communities which then causes group's like society is permanently stuck at the Jr. high school level, where what you're friends think really, really matters and you would never dare to go against the crowd.

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Oh okay, maybe I did, sorry if I did, it's just it seems like it's much more sensitive than usual now. Tarantino does tone down certain aspects of movies. He plays it safer by setting his movies in past tenses, where as they would cause more controversy if set in modern times. So I feel that he uses the past, as a safety net somewhat, unless I am seeing that wrong.

But as far as showing things like genitalia or violence goes, I am talking more about subject matter content. For example, you can't even have a character smoking in modern times, without them saying that they are trying to quit, or that it's bad for you, etc. Anything controversial has to have a message attached to it now, it seems.

mattiasflgrtll6's Avatar
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I don't think Tarantino lets his movies play out in the past because it's "safer" though. Even though Django Unchained was set in the 1800's, it still received a lot of controversy for having the single most uses of racist slurs in a movie. Would it really have made any difference if it was set in modern times? I don't think so.

I think the reason he sets more of his movies in the past than before is because he's a very nostalgic man. Both Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight are inspired by classic westerns made during the 50's and 60's. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is an ode to the 60's in general. Even earlier back you have Jackie Brown which takes inspiration from 1970's blaxploitation movies, most particularly Foxy Brown. If you look at it this way instead, it makes more sense why he now sets most of his movies directly in the past.

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Oh okay, I thought that Django Unchained for example, would have been a more daring issue if it dealt with slavery and racial issues in modern times, rather than setting in in the past. I thought that Inglourious Basterds would have been far less safe if he set it in the current Irag war at the time, rather than WWII.

However, both those movies came out before this movement has seemed to have started. Also, as for as Once Upon a time in Hollywood goes, perhaps, it is not a safe movie, but that is one one small fish though, a much larger pond it seems.

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The question of whether or not audiences are "too sensitive" arguably has to do with how the Internet's expansion of human communication has gone some way towards democratising the discourse and how previously-marginalised voices have been allowed a greater influence than they've had in the past and communicated new perspectives that do not simply agree with those that have more readily dominated the culture in the past - that they only come across as too sensitive in comparison to the insensitivity that has long been the standard. I don't know exactly how much of it is demanding that films be "censored" so much as delivering legitimate criticisms about films that come across as either ignorant, deliberately bigoted, or unable to justify their insensitivity in the name of artistry. I think Django Unchained is a good example of what I'm talking about because it's invoking an ugly and brutal period of American history where racial slurs and violence are commonplace only to make it window dressing for an epic action buddy comedy (and the period setting supposedly justifies the atrocities because that's just how it was back in the old days). It's basically just a matter of asking why filmmakers make the choices that they do and coming to your own conclusions about whether they were worth making (and if not, why not) - that's not being oversensitive so much as thinking critically about a film and its place in the world. I'll concede moments where the methods have been ill-advised (like trying to prove a film is sexist by counting every single line of dialogue that a female character gets, which happened with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and The Irishman), but I do think it is a matter of questioning why people would come across as sensitive to certain subjects or approaches rather than just thinking they've gotten too soft or whatever.

As for comedies playing it safe, like mattias said there's always the question of how mainstream films have to actively work to appease ratings boards like the MPAA to get lighter ratings and therefore allow more people to buy tickets (and, by extension, appease the ticket-buyers themselves). That's not so much a fear of offence as it is a cynical business ploy.
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Oh okay, it's interesting to say that Django Unchained has it's issues as window dressing for a buddy comedy. Would Green Book for all into the same league, since it's a buddy comedy, as well of sorts?

As for the PG-13 rating to bring in more people, I thought you could still have movies that deal with sensitive subject matter, and still get a PG-13 rating if you wanted to in a lot of cases, couldn't you?

For example, Django Unchained could have been PG-13 and still have the same subject matter, if the violence were shot differently, and didn't show near as much, as well as take out some of the language, but you still have the same subject matter, don't you?

Speaking of Django Unchained, Tarantino wrote and directed it. The movie holds the all time record for most uses of the "n" word, 116 times...Yet when Tarantino's character appears in the movie he never, says the "n" word. Talk about faux political correctness. Hell he's the one who wrote the script that deliberately broke the record for most "n" words in a movie, knowing full well that action would gain much publicity for Django Unchained and making Tarantino millions, all by deliberately over using racial slurs.

He did that because he knew most people will see him in the movie not using the "n" word so that then he looks like a nice guy. Then to cover his own hypocritical ass he blogs about John Ford at the time of the film's release calling John Ford a white supremacist...which was deliberately done by Tarantino to take the heat off his 116 uses of the "n" word in his entertainment movie.

Are they? A few softies on Twitter post something and the newspapers think the whole world is offended. In the old days, I am sure people used to get hurt, but had no way of putting it out there.
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Are they? A few softies on Twitter post something and the newspapers think the whole world is offended. In the old days, I am sure people used to get hurt, but had no way of putting it out there.
Pretty much this. Sensitivity isnít new, itís just been thrown into the forefront due to social media providing a spotlight for them to air it. There have always been complaints about films in one form or another.
80ís slasher films, late 60ís and the entirety of 70ís violence, nudity, perceived racism ands its usage in films. This is old hat.
I donít see films really toning it down any.
The Irishman didnít tone anything down.
The Joker didnít tone anything down.
Both are being expected front runners for the Oscars.

Ghouls, vampires, werewolves... let's party.
They shouldn't be. Movies have gotten worse over the years. Modern audiences have become desensitized to gratuitous sex and violence. Much has changed in past decades. Movie makers today don't give a rat's ass about offending people.

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Well I haven't seen The Irishman yet, but using Joker as an example, which I did see, why were people complaining about the content so much? If the movie came out 10 years ago, I don't think people would have been so sensitive about the subject matter.

Well I haven't seen The Irishman yet, but using Joker as an example, which I did see, why were people complaining about the content so much? If the movie came out 10 years ago, I don't think people would have been so sensitive about the subject matter.
There was some about The Joker, but those are just two examples where they donít shy away from violence and such.
I havenít watched too many current films of late, as Iíve looked to the past (pre 2000) mostly when it comes to fulfilling my movie experiences.
Iíll have to watch more to get a proper idea, but I donít expect it has changed that much

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Oh okay. It's just that if Hollywood does release a movie where they don't shy away, people seem to be complaining about it more than ever before, and I'm afraid this could influence Hollywood to pander to those people too much.

Speaking of Django Unchained, Tarantino wrote and directed it. The movie holds the all time record for most uses of the "n" word, 116 times.
It's a Tarantino movie that centers around slavery. Were the characters supposed to say "African Americans"?

Also I think the assertion that him personally not using that word is an attempt at political correctness is kind of ridiculous. Nobody should ever expect it of him anyway and it's not like he's never said the word himself. You've seen Pulp Fiction, right? Where he rants about not wanting to provide "dead n***** storage"? If he was trying to look like a good guy by not saying it, he would've been at least 18 years too late.

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Well it's just little things here and there. For example, some people complain about how in older James Bond movies, James will torture information out of a female character, who is complicit with the villains, and has information.

But now this kind of thing offends modern audience so much, that heroes only torture information out of male characters now as a result. That's just one example of what I mean by modern audiences being too sensitive.

Yes. Why? Because they can. How? Because of the why, the internet. Opinions and information circulating at incredible speeds, the number of people that can now share ideas and opinions in a group, like this forum, dangerously through social media, and all of them knowing there opinions won't matter unless, yes, unless they're enough to make a change and everyone wants to change something, wants to impose there view to everybody else, they don't question anything. People never changed and they never will, they will keep believing they are the good guys and those before us the bad guys. What is true today is false tomorrow, the Holy Inquisition truly believed they were doing good things, everyone knew it, anyone who didn't saw the word of God obviously had a demon and they had to expel it, they had to save that person or at least save her soul, they were seen as psychotherapists are seen today, total acceptance. Tomorrow things we consider completely understandable and correct can be questionable.