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Use of strong language is on the rise...

and according to the BBFC, parents want children protected


Link Here9th June 2021
The BBFC has released a new survey into attitudes towards swearing which shows that while the use of strong language is on the rise, parents are keen to protect their children and do not want to see increased use of strong language in media content.

The survey, carried out by Magenta, was commissioned to find out if parents would accept more frequent uses of strong ('fuck') and very strong language ('cunt') at the 12 and 15 categories, and to understand people's opinions and use of these words in their lives. The report showed that 60% say swearing is part of their daily life, with 30% saying they use strong language more than five years ago.

The survey showed that people think that the BBFC is getting it right when it comes to classification of strong and very strong language in films and TV content. People feel that there is a time and a place for using stronger language, and therefore do not want to see an increase in strong and very strong language at the 12 category.

61% agree that while they are comfortable using strong language with friends they refrain from doing so if children can hear. Only 20% parents say they're comfortable swearing in front of children under 16 at home because they are keen to shield their kids as long as possible.

The survey showed that how words are said raises more concerns than what is said. Language feels more problematic and/or adult when it is; directly targeted at an individual, or used in an aggressive way, especially when used by men towards women; used in a sexual context; used in a sexually violent way or referencing abuse, rape, coercion, or sexually aggressive behaviour.

David Austin, Chief Executive of the BBFC, said:

Children are watching more content on multiple screens, and their parents want to protect them from strong and very strong language wherever they can and for as long as possible. Parents told us they are keen for media industries to share the responsibility - and that's where we come in. Very strong language retains an innate shock value, and for some remains the last taboo. While it can occur in a variety of contexts, including comic and colloquial, it has a particularly distressing potency when used towards women - so it's reassuring to hear people think we are getting it right when it comes to classifying these words.

For the first time, the BBFC has also published a guide to what terms parents can expect to hear in films and TV shows in the U, PG and 12A/12 categories. The guide lays out common words that are permitted at the junior categories, and also includes sections on Hindi language.

David Austin added:

This research has underpinned our knowledge that parents are the gatekeepers when it comes to language at the lower age ratings, U, PG and 12A/12. This is why we've launched our guide to terms at the junior categories, so that parents can feel empowered and confident when choosing content that is right for their families.

Despite parents being keen to protect their children for as long as possible, there's a clear generational divide when it comes to swearing, with 46% of Gen Zs frequently using strong language daily, compared to only 12% of 55-64 year olds and 12% of over 65s. 25% of 16-24 year olds say they would never use strong language in public, compared to75% of over 65s.

When it comes to acronyms - for example WTF - people felt that the meaning is rarely lost on viewers, including children. In most cases, they are treated as if the word were spoken in full. Therefore, the BBFC will classify acronyms as if they are a use of strong language in full.

The BBFC's list of language vs age rating is as follows

U'damn', 'hell', 'God', 'Jesus Christ'. We know that some people find these words particularly offensive, but our research shows us that the majority of parents are comfortable with their children hearing them in U rated films.

'butt', 'jerk'.

And, depending on the context, you may also hear the word 'screw' if it is used instead of 'messed up', eg. 'I screwed up'.

PGAt PG, we only allow mild bad language. If words are used in an aggressive or very frequent way, then this might result in the content being rated higher.

'bloody', 'bugger', 'son of a bitch', 'shit', 'arsehole', 'bastard',

'bollocks', 'piss', 'crap', 'arse', 'ass', 'sod', 'git', 'arse'.

12A12APrick, wanker, twat, bitch, whore, slag, slut, cock,

Depending on context, frequency, and tone: fuck'

 

 

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It...

Both the 18 rated uncut version and the 15 rated cut version have been passed by the BBFC for home video


Link Here8th June 2021
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is a 2021 USA horror mystery thriller by Michael Chaves
Starring Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson and Julian Hilliard BBFC link 2020 IMDb
Uncut and MPA R rated in the US. This was initially rated 18 uncut, by the BBFC but the distributors preferred a cut 15 rated version for 2021 cinema release. The film is rated 16 uncut  by IFCO for Irish cinema release.

Both the uncut 18 rated version and the cut 15 rated have just been passed for home video release but it is not yet clear which versions will be released on which formats.

Summary Notes

A chilling story of terror, murder and unknown evil that shocked even experienced real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. One of the most sensational cases from their files, it starts with a fight for the soul of a young boy, then takes them beyond anything they'd ever seen before, to mark the first time in U.S. history that a murder suspect would claim demonic possession as a defense.

Versions

BBFC cut
category cuts
cut:  
run: 113m
pal: 108m
15UK: The UK edit was passed 15 for strong threat, horror, violence after BBFC category cuts:
  • 2021 Warner Bros Entertainment UK Ltd video
  • 2021 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

The distributor chose to reduce bloody injury detail in a suicide scene in order to obtain a 15 classification. An uncut 18 classification was available.

Of course the BBFC is referring to vertical wrist slitting which is disallowed at 15.

BBFC uncut
uncut
run: 113m
pal: 108m
18

Ireland 16
Ireland

MPAA R

UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong injury detail, horror:
  • 2021 Warner Bros Entertainment UK Ltd video
  • 2021 cinema release, unreleased as the distributors opted for a cut 15 release

Ireland: Rated 16 uncut for very strong gory violence.

It is reported that the Irish 16 rated cinema release is the uncut version running at 111:44s

US: Uncut and MPA R rated for terror, violence and some disturbing images.

 

 

The language of censorship...

The BBFC reviews the classification of strong language


Link Here7th June 2021
The BBFC discussed the classification of strong language at its board meeting in April 2021. The minutes note:

The BBFC commissioned Magenta to undertake research into people's views on strong and very strong language in media content. While the research revealed that usage of bad language, including strong language, has increased among the general population, there remains a desire to protect young people from over-exposure to strong and very strong language.

The findings indicated that people do not wish to see an increase in the allowance of strong language at 12A, or very strong language at 15. Aggravating and mitigating factors were highlighted, and correspond with current BBFC policy. However, in exceptional circumstances there is some increased allowance for isolated or infrequent use of 'motherfucker' at 12A.

The research also indicated that people prefer to be warned of spoken language as opposed to bleeped strong language, so BBFC short ratings info policies will be updated to accommodate this (e.g. if a work contains a bleeped use of 'fuck', but also a use of 'prick', short Ratings Info (RI) will read moderate bad language').

The research also indicated that acronyms (e.g. WTF) are generally understood by what word is being implied, and so should be treated as if the word is being spoken, unless there are sufficient mitigating factors to defend the acronym at a lower level.

The research also looked at reclaimed use of 'nigger', typically written as 'nigga', when used between members of the black community in a peer-to-peer context. There was some recognition that the term, when used in this context, was not the same as the racist iteration of the word, and nor was it the same as 'bad language/swearing'. The BBFC is therefore trialling racial language in short RI where this word is a category defining issue, but will look to the upcoming discrimination research to further develop our understanding.

 

 

Maya The Bee: The Golden Orb...

Children's cartoon cut for a U rating, the latest film cut for UK cinema release


Link Here21st May 2021
Maya The Bee: The Golden Orb is a 2021 Germany / Australia animation adventure by Noel Cleary
Starring Benson Jack Anthony, Frances Berry and Christian Charisiou BBFC link 2020 IMDb
The BBFC originally rated the film PG uncut for 2021 cinema release but the distributors preferred a cut U version.

Summary Notes

When Maya, a headstrong little bee, and her best friend Willi, rescue an ant princess they find themselves in the middle of an epic bug battle that will take them to strange new worlds and test their friendship to its limits.

Versions

BBFC cut
advised
category
cuts
run: 88m
pal: 84m
UUK: A pre-cut version was passed U very mild threat, violence, rude humour:
  • 2021 cinema release

Thanks to Scott:

The cuts were to remove use of 'crap', a no-no at U.
BBFC uncut
uncut
run: 88m
pal: 84m
PGUK: Passed PG uncut for mild bad language:
  • 2021 cinema release not released as distributors preferred a cut U rated release

 

 

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It...

Endemic censorship, the latest film cut for its UK cinema release


Link Here18th May 2021
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is a 2021 USA horror mystery thriller by Michael Chaves
Starring Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson and Julian Hilliard BBFC link 2020 IMDb
Uncut and MPA R rated in the US. This was initially rated 18 uncut, by the BBFC but the distributors preferred a cut 15 rated version for 2021 cinema release. The film is rated 16 uncut by IFCO for Irish cinema release.

Summary Notes

A chilling story of terror, murder and unknown evil that shocked even experienced real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. One of the most sensational cases from their files, it starts with a fight for the soul of a young boy, then takes them beyond anything they'd ever seen before, to mark the first time in U.S. history that a murder suspect would claim demonic possession as a defense.

Versions

BBFC cut
category cuts
cut:  
run: 113m
pal: 108m
15UK: Passed 15 for strong threat, horror, violence after BBFC category cuts:
  • 2021 cinema release

The BBFC commented:

The distributor chose to reduce bloody injury detail in a suicide scene in order to obtain a 15 classification. An uncut 18 classification was available.

Of course the BBFC is referring to vertical wrist slitting which is disallowed at 15.

BBFC uncut
uncut
run: 113m
pal: 108m
18

Ireland 16
Ireland

MPAA R

UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong injury detail, horror:
  • 2021 cinema release, unreleased as the distributors opted for a cut 15 release

Ireland: Rated 16 uncut for very strong gory violence.

It is reported that the Irish 16 rated cinema release is the uncut version running at 111:44s

US: Uncut and MPA R rated for terror, violence and some disturbing images.


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