Sex and violence marks BBFC’s 2010
by Naman Ramachandran
14/06/2011 - Sexual violence, strong language and the sexualisation of children were the three dominant classification issues for the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) in 2010, according to their annual report.
David Cooke, Director of the BBFC, said, “The significant cuts to reduce sexual and sexualised violence in I Spit on Your Grave and A Serbian Film in order to obtain an ‘18’ rating prompted some commentators to suggest that the BBFC had suddenly tightened its policies. In both instances, the decisions were firmly in line with our published classification Guidelines, which result from extensive and regular consultation with the public. The ‘15’ and ‘12A’ classifications, given respectively, to two highly praised British films, Made in Dagenham [trailer] and The King’s Speech [trailer, film focus], also prompted lively debate in the media about the Board’s language policies. It is clear that the public still expects us to be vigilant on language issues: the distinction between the two films was that The King’s Speech involved an exceptional context, that of speech therapy, for which there was no equivalent in .”
“The third area of debate was the sexualisation of children. As a result of public concern, the Government launched a review into the commercialisation and sexualisation of children. The BBFC submitted evidence to the consultation covering how we deal with the sexualisation of children in works submitted for classification. One area where this is of concern is some music videos. Most music videos are exempt from classification, but some distributors do submit them to us on a voluntary best practice basis,” Cooke added.