MPAA freaks out over puppet sex scene in "Team America" movie

Updated below

The Motion Picture Association of America is demanding an NC-17 rating for South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker's new film : Team America: World Police, in part over a puppet sex scene mentioned here on BoingBoing over the weekend. Link to previous BoingBoing posts: Team America preview, tech backstory in Wired.

I don't see what all the fuss is about. I've seen the movie, and the scene, and the puppets don't even have any genitals. The scene doesn't read horny or icky, just really goddamn funny. Were someone to leak a clip online, it wouldn't be one-handed material — unless you were a particularly desperate puppetophiliac. In which case there are far more explicit destinations for your type, anyway.

This is particularly tough for Stone and Parker, because the filmmakers are contractually obligated to deliver an R film to the studio. In related news, Paramount announces that the film will be sneak-previewed for a one-day-only release in 800 US theaters on October 9, followed by its previously scheduled wide release on October 15.

Quoth the film's producer, Scott Rudin, in the LA Times:

"There's nothing we're asking for that hasn't appeared in other R-rated movies, and our characters are made of wood and have no genitalia. If the puppets did to each other what we show them doing, all they'd get is splinters," Rudin said.

Link to Guardian story, Link to LA Times (reg reqd).

(Thanks, Ernest Miller)

Update: Reuters reports that film has been granted an "R" rating by the MPAA, pending scene modifications. Link