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What are red-band trailers on YouTube?

Red-band trailers are basically R-rated movie trailers. They're designed for mature audiences, and they contain more sex, violence, swear words, and emotionally charged scenes than the "green band" versions that are approved for all audiences. You can tell you're watching a red-band trailer because the MPAA warning appears in front of a red background. And if you're watching one, you're probably on YouTube. Red-band trailers are created for the web, not the theater.

Red-band trailers are, of course, advertising. All of the major movie studios have YouTube channels where they offer promotional material for their latest films, including celebrity interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, outtakes, and both the red- and green-band versions of trailers. Lots of YouTube creators upload red-band versions as well.

Red-band trailers are supposed to be behind an "age gate" -- meaning you have to confirm that you're 17 to watch it. But in practice, red-band trailers are freely accessible to anyone. You can try to cut down on your kids' exposure to red-band trailers by enabling YouTube's Restricted Mode and and other features. Since YouTube serves up content based on your viewing and search history, your kids may not encounter red-band trailers unless they go looking for them. If they do see them, check our movie reviews for ideas on how to discuss movies' more mature themes.