Producer Protests R Rating for Hollywood Sexual Abuse Doc 'An Open Secret'

Courtesy of Doc NYC
'An Open Secret'

The producer, Gabe Hoffman, had a letter delivered to MPAA chief Christopher Dodd on Friday that says the film used "extremely bland language" so as to avoid an R rating.

The producer of An Open Secret, the controversial documentary about the sexual abuse of minors in Hollywood, is protesting the film’s R rating, arguing that the movie was made to warn teenagers of potential predators but the restrictive rating will prevent those under 17 from seeing it unless accompanied by an adult.

The producer, Gabe Hoffman, had a letter delivered to MPAA chief Christopher Dodd on Friday that says the film used “extremely bland language” so as to avoid an R rating and make the content suitable for teenagers. The letter quotes reviewers remarking on the effort.

“A persuasive but not salacious look at the abuse of minors,” The Hollywood Reporter says in its review, quoted in Hoffman’s letter to Dodd, obtained by THR.

The letter says the movie usually uses language like “doing it” to describe sexual abuse. “It is quite difficult to understand how such descriptions would qualify for an R rating, utilizing either common-sense analysis or the MPAA’s own ratings precedents.”

Open Secret, from Esponda Productions and Disarming Films, made waves at the Cannes Film Market, and Rocky Mountain Pictures began distributing it in select markets in June. It opens in Los Angeles on July 17.

In his letter to Dodd, Hoffman pleads for a PG-13 rating. “This would allow teens to watch the film, with the appropriate parental cautions, and receive the information to resist those who would seek to harm them.

“I am simply making a respectful, formal request for you to personally view An Open Secret and review this decision,” Hoffman writes in his letter to Dodd. “If just one single teen … finds their inner strength, and is able to escape their current abuse situation because of your decision, wouldn’t that make your time spent personally reviewing the film, and its rating, all worthwhile?”

MPAA was not available to immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

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