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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Viewers can’t sneak in under, undercover program discovers

She broke the rules and snuck into her first R-rated movie when she was 14 years old.

She got away with it.

Rachelle Gabrang, now a 20-year-old UF accounting sophomore, is not unlike many others who rebelled against entertainment ratings in their teens.

“If I want to see the movie, the laws don’t really hinder me from going in,” she said. “I don’t see any wrong with it, ethically.”

But movie theaters are beginning to crack down.

On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission released the results of an undercover shopper survey about entertainment ratings enforcement.

“Only 13 percent of underage shoppers were able to purchase M-rated video games, while a historic low of 24 percent were able to purchase tickets to R-rated movies,” according to the FTC press release.

Between April and June 2012, unaccompanied 13- to 16-year-olds attempted to purchase R-rated movie tickets, music CDs with parental advisory labels, video games rated M and unrated DVDs that were once rated R.

Rick Quaresima, assistant director for advertising practices with the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection, said the secret shopper program began in 2000 after the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.

Terry Harpold, associate professor for the UF Department of English, said he does not expose his 10-year-old daughter to violent forms of entertainment media because she “doesn’t have the time and experience” of an adult.

“They’re laws,” he said. “They should be enforced.”

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