Again, it has no force of law. So, no, it does not remove parental choice. If a parent is determined to have their underage child watch an NC-17 movie, guaranteed it can be done. It maybe, potentially, rarely makes it somewhat harder.
Because you said:
Which is exactly my point: People do have differing opinions.
Even when the country was (at least mythically) more homogenous, the values imposed by the Hays Office were more driven by Hays’ idiosyncratic ideas than any broad survey.
Allow me to humbly suggest that movie theaters are not how ten-year-olds are watching “NC-17” material, and them being able to get into theaters to see NC-17 films would not substantially alter that.
Shall we censor the Internet? Or are you fine with 10-year-olds watching that stuff online?
Is there really no way at all for an exhibitor to figure out what’s age appropriate without a centralized board casting chicken bones over how many times an F-bomb is used as an interjection versus a verb?
Ratings boards existed before the MPAA. There are innumerable groups around who will happily make that call for you. Furthermore, exhibitors typically pre-screen the movies they show. They could actually do it themselves.
I’m familiar with the South Park:BLU story, and they had similar issues with Team America. I agree that it’s nonsense; I disagree that any other committee formed in any other way would end up any differently, except possibly in whom it favored.
Every country abuses its citizens in some way, whether highly formalized or arbitrary. “Everyone does it,” is not a good point.
We don’t have to have them and, again, except in the increasingly irrelevant public exhibition space, we don’t.
“Fair” is meaningless in this context. “Consistent” means “Police Squad” is the most violent TV show of 1982.
As a society, we don’t really “have discussions”. We have people positioning themselves to coerce the rest of us into doing what they think is proper. This is why we bounce from one hysteria to another: Mobs don’t really have thoughtful conversations.
No ratings board with any power would exist for long before being captured by the companies it was purporting to regulate. (Citation: Every regulatory board in the history of the universe.)