Kevin Smith's time as a filmmaker who makes movies with vulgar dialogue, and sometimes vulgar events, is well documented, as are his many encounters with the the Motion Picture Association of America with regard to his film's ratings. Though most of his movies are Rated R, sometimes they've been given the more severe NC-17, and sometimes he has to call in the big guns to help. Speaking with Jackass star Steve-O on his podcast Steve-O's Wild Ride!, Smith recounted how one of the films in the gross-out, stunt-spectacular franchise helped him out when he was arguing with the MPAA about a disagreement they were having about one of his comedies.
As Smith fans may recall, there's a wild scene in 2008's Zack and Miri Make a Porno where one of Smith's regular collaborators Jeff Anderson has to come....face-to-face with some fecal matter. Smith notes that the gag-inducing joke is only about two seconds in length in the movie but that upon seeing Anderson's face covered in filth, the MPAA told him: "Never in a million years, you can't f-cking do this." Due to this scene, Smith's movie was given an NC-17, but when he spoke during the arbitration phase to appeal the rating Smith had a major piece of evidence, 2007's Jackass: Number Two.
As Smith recounts it, "When I went up to arbitrate (I said), 'So ladies and gentlemen we all agree that the fake fecal matter that wound up on my actor's face is a product of movie magic? That's not sh-t. We mix up oatmeal and some coloring, so if we all agree that then we know that like we're in the unreality business.' I was like 'There's a motion picture just came out fairly recently, it's called Jackass and in Jackass they wear a fart helmet where at one point somebody farts so hard that fecal matter sprays into a living human being's face and this is not fiction this literally happened ladies and gentlemen that movie is rated R. If that's real and you let it go, how can you stop fake poop?' And they flipped it, because of you guys."
Steve-O then pulled back the curtain a bit for Smith, telling him that while there is poop in that particular scene of the Jackass sequel, no one gets sprayed in the face with it in their movie. "You're lucky I wasn't there because nothing made it into that mask," he revealed. "That's just the power of my imagination, the idea that something was gross."
The pair laughed and Smith added, "Your performance was so strong that it made the MPA go, 'Well, right is right.'"