Meaghan Kirby
May 10, 2019 9:40 am

Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway’s new film, The Hustle, is rated PG-13…but that wasn’t always the case. After initially receiving an R-rating, producers on the film (including Wilson), appealed to the Motion Picture Association of America (movies rated PG-13 can be seen by more people in theaters, which directly affects a movie’s success at the box office).

In an interview with the Associated Press, the Pitch Perfect actress revealed that in researching the ratings of similar films during the appeals process, she found the MPAA threshold for “risqué” jokes to be lower for women-led films.

A remake of Michael Caine and Steve Martin’s beloved 1988 comedy, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (which is in turn a remake of 1964 film Bedtime Stories), The Hustle follows a pair of con-women who team up to take down rich men in the south of France. Speaking with Yahoo! about the sexist ways women-led comedies are viewed, Wilson even pointed out that, despite being a reboot, The Hustle had to fight for its PG-13 rating, while Scoundrels was given a PG-rating from the MPAA. Yes, really, the male-led Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was rated PG.

For Hathaway, the rating says a lot about the way our culture still perceives female-driven films, especially comedies. “It’s not enough to just put two women in the in the lead of the film. Then the culture that surrounds those two women told us, ‘Oh you can’t be funny in that way,’” the Ocean’s 8 actress told the AP.

She added, “Even though there was a norm established […] in the world saying when men say these sort of things it’s appropriate for teenagers. But when women say these sort of things, no that’s unexpected that’s too, that’s too new. That’s too different.”

Hear, hear. The Hustle is currently in theaters now.

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