People violently murdering others as part of a government-mandated bloodbath in a sci-fi action film; gay teens barely alluding to gay sex in the midst of adolescent awkwardness in a light teen comedy. If you had to choose, which of those films would you give a “PG-13” rating to and which would get “R"?
According to the Motion Picture Association of America, which assigns ratings to films, GBF, a coming-of-age comedy about teenagers recruited as “gay best friends” by prom-queen wannabes, is rated “R."
Gawker writer Rich Juzwiak breaks down all the ways GBF could possibly garner an “R” rating, but he and director Darren Stein both think the real reason behind the harsh rating is the film’s gay focus. Stein wrote on his Facebook page, “Perhaps the ratings box should more accurately read ‘For Homosexual References’ or ‘Too Many Scenes of Gay Teens Kissing.’"
I haven’t seen GBF yet, but I have seen another 2013 release, Catching Fire. The sequel to the Hunger Games, which depicts a dystopian future where a totalitarian government forces contestants to compete in a battle royale fight to the death, with fairly graphic violence throughout. The film received a PG-13 rating. Compare that to this:
A harsh rating can severely affect who gets to see a film. The MPAA says that “Children under 17 are not allowed to attend R-rated motion pictures unaccompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Parents are strongly urged to find out more about R-rated motion pictures in determining their suitability for their children.” GBF was written with a “PG-13” rating in mind, so the rating just goes to show what the MPAA thinks about gay teen sexuality: it should be restricted.