Mary Poppins Gets PG Rating as Study Shows Viewers Today Are Increasing in Sensitivity

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has updated its film rating guidelines to implement stricter controls after a study revealed that the public is becoming more sensitive to certain types of content.

BBFC Updates Guidelines

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The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) is introducing stricter criteria for sex scenes and nudity in films rated 12 and 12A due to public concern over children’s exposure to explicit content.

Extensive Public Consultation

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This past year, the BBFC conducted the largest-ever public consultation, with 12,000 people, to determine the community’s opinions on film classification standards.

Research Methodology

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To conduct their research, the BBFC asked participants for their views on a variety of trailers, clips, and films they were shown in order to gauge public sensitivity towards different types of content.

Shift in Public Opinion

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The large consultation revealed that audiences have shifted towards a more conservative view on the depiction of sex in media and wanted the BBFC to take a more cautious approach towards 12 and 12A-rated films.

Sexual Violence Concerns

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The study also revealed that sexual violence is still one of the top concerns for viewers, something that has remained consistent since BBFC’s previous 2019 research.

The Rise in Mental Health Awareness

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Most likely due to the continued rise and use of social media, the BBFC’s research also found that the media’s portrayal of suicide and self-harm has become the second largest concern for UK viewers.

Liberal Views on Cannabis

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One thing that viewers seemed to be relaxing their views towards was the use of cannabis. Over the last five years, the public has seemingly become more accepting of cannabis, which means the BBFC will likely lessen its restrictions towards cannabis in films.

Bob Marley Biopic Example

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One example of the BBFC’s new and more lenient approach towards cannabis can be seen with the new movie “Bob Marley: One Love” receiving a 12A rating under the new guidelines.

Getting 12A

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The BBFC’s president, Natasha Kaplinsky, said, “The public have told us there is an easing, a greater tolerance of dope, and the message of One Love is essentially about peace. Marijuana is completely essential to the Rastafarian religion so it felt important to give that a 12A rather than a 15.”

Stricter Language Standards

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Another growing concern that may surprise you is people’s views on language with sexual or misogynistic connotations. As a result, films including such language may soon have higher age ratings.

Violence Classification Tightens

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The BBFC also revealed that films showing intense violence would be subject to higher age ratings regardless of their category due to increased viewer sensitivity.

Historical Content Reevaluation

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Under these new guidelines, the BBFC is now changing the rating of some older movies to better align with people’s current views. As a result, some classics like Mary Poppins have already seen their age rating increase.

Increased Concern for Language

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In the BBFC, parents were also very outspoken regarding foul language. They made demands that such language require a higher rating, especially if the language has sexist or sexual implications.

Changing Standards on Drug Use

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Despite viewers relacing stance towards cannabis, the study found that most other forms of drug use are increasingly bothering viewers and will likely need to be reclassified in film ratings.

Sexual Content Tightening

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Thanks to this new research, it is most likely that sex scenes previously allowed in 12A/12 films will now be classified as 15 due to audiences shifting views towards sexual content.

Comedic Contexts Exception

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Despite audiences becoming more sensitive towards sexual conduct in movies, audiences have actually become more accepting of sex references in comedies marketed towards viewers aged 15-18.

Societal Change Adaptation

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After revealing the findings of their study, the BBFC said that it is their responsibility to understand and evolve with societal changes so that they can maintain film standards that align with public sentiments.

Historical Films Under Scrutiny

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Now the updated and modern film guidelines will be used with the contemporary guidelines to reclassify older films in order to ensure they align with these current societal values.

Viewer Concerns Inform Policy

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By continuously updating and modernising the BBFC’s content classification approach, they hope to better classify movies so that the audiences can be best informed about the films they’re interested in enjoying.

Trust in BBFC’s Judgment

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Thanks to the BBFC’s efforts to receive feedback from the public and act on their sentiments they remain a trusted institution committed to maintaining its credibility.

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The post Spoonful of Sensitivity: Mary Poppins Gets ‘PG’ Rating as Study Shows Viewers Today Are Increasing in Sensitivity first appeared on Edge Media.

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Sarah Griffin is an experienced writer known for her incisive analysis of UK politics and human rights issues. Her work blends depth and clarity, providing insightful and often satirical commentary on the contemporary political landscape

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