The producers of An Open Secret said Thursday they have tweaked some scenes in the documentary about pedophilia in Hollywood in order to get the MPAA to agree to a PG-13 rating.
The MPAA originally slapped an R-rating on An Open Secret, and producer Gabe Hoffman objected, arguing that the film tells cautionary tales meant to be learned by teenagers under 17 who wouldn’t be allowed to attend without parental supervision had the R-rating stood.
In July, Hoffman sent a letter to MPAA chief Christopher Dodd objecting to the R-rating, saying he and director Amy Berg purposely used “bland language” so that the film would be suitable for teens.
Language, though, was the primary concern for the MPAA’s Classification and Rating Administration. In the end, one word from two different scenes was cut in order to satisfy the members, who now have switched the rating to PG-13.
“It was my intent all along to have this film viewed by as many people as possible and when we realized the R-rating would limit our audience, we took action,” said Hoffman.
The R-rated An Open Secret has already played at theaters in Los Angeles, New York, Denver and Seattle, and the PG-13 version could be headed to many more cities through an arrangement with Gathr Films, which has pioneered the “theatrical-on-demand” distribution technique.
Through Gathr, potential audiences commit in advance to attending a movie, and once enough tickets have been pre-sold the participating theater opens the film. Gathr says it has held 1,500 “audience-driven screenings” for 40 different movies in the past year using this method, and it’s deal with An Open Secret was announced Thursday.