Back in the '30s when Hollywood first began to feel the pressure for morality in the movies, the Catholic Church's Legion of Decency was in on the creation of what has now evolved into the rating system of the Motion Picture Assn. of America.
Now, 60 years later, a painting that is virtually synonymous with the Vatican City headquarters of the Catholic Church in Rome, has been found to be offensive by the modern-day decision makers at the headquarters of the Motion Picture Assn. of America in Sherman Oaks.
Culver City-based Ikon Creative Services said a scene in a trailer it designed for MGM's upcoming film "Six Degrees of Separation" was considered by the MPAA to be unacceptable for viewing by all audiences. That scene showed a replica of Michelangelo's "Creation of Adam," including its frontal view of Adam's genitals. If MGM chose to keep that scene in, then the trailer could be shown only with films that are R-rated. Sources said the studio did not want to delay or narrow the scope of its advertising campaign, so it chose to delete the scene. MGM refused to comment.
The "rating" of the trailer was a separate issue from the R rating given to the film itself. "Six Degrees," a comedy based on the hit stage play by John Guare, has an R rating due to strong language and frontal nudity of a live actor (in addition to the painting).