‘Draft Day’ wins MPAA appeal to overturn R rating

There’s plenty of R-rated language among the locker rooms, sidelines and offices of the testosterone-fueled NFL, but a new film immersed in that world, “Draft Day,” has pulled off a PG-13 rating.

The upcoming football flick directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Kevin Coster, was initially slapped with an R rating for “brief strong language” by the Motion Picture Assn. of America, but rather than trimming the film or accepting the R, Reitman and Lionsgate successfully appealed the rating.

The film, about a general manager (Costner) who trades for the No. 1 pick and has the onerous task of saving football in his city, now bears a PG-13 rating for “brief strong language and sexual references.”

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It seems unlikely that football fans would really blanch at a bit of coarse language, seeing as how high-definition TV cameras frequently catch coaches and players barking obscenities on the sidelines. Even if such moments are usually inaudible, it’s obvious even to casual fans that profanity is part of NFL culture.

Lionsgate and the MPAA declined to provide details on the appeal.

Although successful rating appeals are historically somewhat rare, “Draft Day” marks the second such victory in the last few months. In October, the Weinstein Co. got “Philomena” downgraded from an R to PG-13.

“Draft Day” will open April 11.


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