Why are Michael Jordan-based docuseries rated TV-MA?


Michael Jordan’s The last dance aired from April 19 to May 17, making it the biggest hit ESPN documentary of all time. The 10-part documentary series focused on Jordan’s last season with the Chicago Bulls, which he led to six NBA titles in eight years. While the documentary highlights his 1997-98 season with the Bulls, it also recounts his illustrious NBA journey with the Bulls. According to ESPN, the documentary attracted an average of 5.648 million viewers over the ten episodes.

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The Last Dance Parent Guide: Why is The Last Dance TV MA?

While the documentary does not involve any violent, gory, or intense scenes, The Last Dance’s parent guide shows a TV-MA rating in most countries. According to IMDB, the rating has been given regarding profanity as well as alcohol, drugs and smoking. The IMDB The Last Dance Parent guide states that due to many swear words, kids should watch docuseries with their parents.

According to reports, there are 15 to 30 swear words in each episode and Dennis Rodman’s language is also considered “inappropriate.” The Last Dance Parent Guide also highlights moderate smoking on the TV show, including references to some players smoking weed. While most countries have rated documentary appropriate for teens, IMDB’s The Last Dance Parent guide classifies docuseries as mature in Australia.

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Why is The Last Dance TV MA? Why were the docuseries published with two ratings?

While the documentary aired on ESPN, two versions were released simultaneously. ESPN announced that it aired the episodes with “strong adult language” that aired on ESPN. However, the “language-edited” episodes aired on ESPN2. The Last Dance Parent guide was released before each episode aired. According to ESPN, the episodes were broadcast differently “to maintain the authenticity of the interviews and footage throughout the next documentary series.” While the episodes were being rerun, the edited version aired on ESPN2 “so that viewers always have the choice of watching”, according to ESPNPress release.

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Why is The Last Dance TV MA? What were the parenting guides presented before each episode?

  • For TV-MA episodes – “The following program contains mature language. Viewers’ discretion recommended.”
  • For TV-14 episodes – “The following program has been edited for an adult language. Viewers’ discretion recommended.”

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(Image source: Official NBA Statistics Twitter – @nbastats)


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