Today, I implore movie folks to stop using the term “Hard R” to refer to movies that have very much earned their R rating.
Knowledge Waits is a feature where I just share some bit of pop culture history that interests me that doesn’t quite fit into the other features.
Karan Soni, who plays Dopinder in the Deadpool movies, referenced what he has seen of the script for Deadpool 3, in terms of whether the now-Disney owned Fox would tone down the content of the movie, “I have begun working on that one, so I can say that it is the same as the other two. It’s like hard R. There’s a lot of that stuff. So it does not feel different. The only thing that, for me, is different is that I have not gotten the script this time. The other two, we did get it, it’s a big difference, at least for me, the MCU part of it vs. the Fox/Marvel part of it. They’re so strict. So I’ve only seen glimpses of what I’m in.”
Okay, listen, I understand that “Hard R” is a term of art in the movie industry for many years now describing when a movie is DEFINITELY an R-rated movie, as opposed to a movie that was just barely tipped over from PG-13 to R. So basically, a lot of content that was “mature viewers only.” More violence, more profanity, etc.
I get that. And I get that the movie people who use the term have heard the term used for years. That’s totally fair.
HOWEVER, “Hard R” is also a longstanding slang term used to describe racist people who use the N-Word with a “hard r” at the end of the word, as opposed to how it is used in most rap music (with more of an “a” at the end). You know, “That guy is so racist, he uses the hard R.”
It’s a common term, and it’s so common that it is super weird whenever movie people use THEIR “Hard R” term. The term “Hard R” will often trend, and people will make fun of the actors who keep using the term (Glen Powell recently used the term CONSTANTLY to describe an upcoming movie he is starring in).
So while I know the intent is fine, the effect is the same, so if you didn’t know, now you know, so please, just make things easier for everyone and stop using the term. Say, like, “It’s very much an R rated movie” or whatever.
If anyone has any pop culture bit that you’d like me to discuss, drop me a line at email@example.com.