Movie Ratings Chief Joan Graves to Retire; Kelly McMahon Named Successor

Joan Graves and Kelly McMahon-Split-Publicity-H 2018
Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging; Courtesy of MPAA

The Motion Picture Association of America announced the future leadership of the ratings board on Thursday.

Joan Graves, the longtime chairman of the movie ratings board, will step down in late 2019, the Motion Picture Association of America announced Thursday.

She will be succeeded by Kelly McMahon, who will serve as deputy chair of the Classification and Rating Administration board during the transition. McMahan, who has been vp and general counsel of the MPAA for more than a decade, will begin her new duties on Jan. 7.

Those responsibilities will include running the day-to-day operations of the ratings board as Graves prepares for her exit.

"Joan's contributions and dedication to the success and endurance of the MPAA ratings are immeasurable," MPAA chairman-CEO Charles Rivkin said in a statement. "Our recent celebration of the ratings' 50th anniversary is a testament to her legacy. I look forward to working with Joan and Kelly to shape the future of the rating system and continue our mission of helping American parents make informed viewing choices for their children." 

Graves joined the MPAA as a member of the ratings board in 1988. She served as administrative director and co-chair before being named chairman in 2000. The head of CARA estimates she has viewed more than 12,500 films over the years.

"The ratings are part of many American families' enjoyment of the movies and we work every day to provide consistent and credible information to maintain the trust of parents," Graves added in the statement.

In her position as MPAA corporate counsel, McMahon is also legal counsel to CARA.

"Working closely with Joan and the ratings system has provided me with a unique perspective and appreciation for the valued source of information for America's parents," McMahon said.