In 1984, Alex Kotlowitz asked moviegoers—parents, kids, and theater ticket sellers—what they thought about the new rating. You can tell it’s the ’80s by the comparisons they make between sex and violence in movies versus the same activities on television or…wait for it…CABLE.
PG-13 is pre-internet. How do you think this vox pop might be different if Alex went back in a time machine with clips from Breaking Bad and some select YouTube videos? He’d probably get arrested, first, for the time machine and second, for the YouTube content.
(Found by Kimberly Springer, library intern. Original airdate 07/09/1984 Morning Edition. Photo credit: Runnr1616, Wikimedia Commons.)
Do you remember the first PG-13 movie you ever watched?
Here’s some excellent archival research by NPR’s Code Switch team (with help from NPR librarian Katie Daugert on blacks passing as East Indian or using “exotica” to navigate the Jim Crow South. This perspective complicates the conversations trending on the Internet about cultural appropriation.
"I was Jim Crowed here, Jim Crowed there, Jim Crowed all over the place. And I didn’t like being Jim Crowed." —- Jesse Routté, who pulled off what historian Paul Kramer calls the “turban trick.”
At the time, ideas of race in America were quite literally black and white. But a few meters of cloth changed the way some people of color were treated.