Why is Roots rated Not Rated?
Official MPAA Rating: Roots is rated Not Rated for
Overall: A- Best-selling author Alex Haley chronicles his genealogical roots from Kunta Kinte, who was abducted from his African homeland in 1765, to Chicken George, who eventually leads his family to freedom after the Civil War. The injustices and violence that depict the hardships of the times honor the memory of those lost to slavery, but also make this remarkable series recommendable only to older teens and parents. Please note that this film also contains female nudity as well as some scenes of sexuality.
Violence: C Leopard attacks and feeds on goat. Animal skinned with knife. Characters attend a wrestling class where they are flipped and tossed. Character dies at sea and his body is tossed overboard. Character chooses suicide by jumping off ship. Battling characters use swords, knives, guns, whips, and a cannon, resulting in capture, injury, or death. Character is chased and captured with the use of dogs. Characters punished and controlled with whips throughout, including one very intense scene.
Sexual Content: C- Men are dressed in scant tribal attire and females are seen bare-breasted in first episode. Implied rape of numerous characters. Young females purchased for sexual purposes. A private body part is indicated in a joke made by characters.
Language: B At least: 6 mild profanities, 2 terms of Deity used as expletives, 2 mild insults, and 16 racial slurs.
Alcohol / Drug Use: C Characters smoke cigars. Herbal paste used as antiseptic before a surgical procedure. Characters drink rum and other types of alcohol, and one character is portrayed as drunken. Medicines and tar used to seal wounds.
Miscellaneous Concerns: Possible other concerns may include a very convincing portrayal of childbirth as well as a circumcision. Characters shown chained together, ankles and wrists bloodied, laying in their own vomit. Demeaning terms used to describe Africans and African-Americans throughout.