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Movies that use the n-word must receive at least a 12A rating after it was deemed ‘most controversial’

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‘Warning: Actor in makeup portraying a different ethnicity’: BBFC will warn viewers against film roles with ‘presumed racial identities’ – and using the n-word will mean at least a 12A rating in shaking up the rules

  • British Board of Film Classification has investigated discrimination
  • It found that the n-word was ‘most controversial’ and led to ‘strongest reaction’
  • It will take a ‘stricter’ stance on the classification of movies and shows with the word










Films that use the n-word must receive a minimum rating of 12A, the British Board of Film Classification has ruled, and viewers should be warned if actors are shown in ‘blackface’ makeup.

The BBFC noted that in its research into discrimination, of all the languages ​​considered, this word was the “most controversial” and elicited the “strongest response.”

The board will also use the phrase “an actor in makeup portraying a different ethnicity” when describing “presumed racial identities.”

The report also said this kind of behavior — sometimes called blackface depictions — would likely require a higher age rating in a modern film than older films “where the intent may be different” and the content can be seen “as a product of its time.” ‘.

It will reveal today that it takes an “even stricter stance” on the classification of the n-word in the “junior” categories.

Films and videos that use the n-word must receive a minimum rating of 12A, the British Board of Film Classification has determined where they were previously classified as a PG

But it said that while the word usually causes a piece not to be rated lower than 12A for film or 12 for video, it could happen if there was a “clear and strong educational value,” such as in a documentary showing a young person. appealed to the public.

Jesse Owens’ 2016 biopic, Race, was classified as a PG. In the film, a white man uses the n-word derogatory about the legendary 1930s sportsman and other black athletes.

It would probably be a 12A or 12 if resubmitted today, despite the positive message about overcoming adversity.

The film agency’s research also found that audiences do not believe that older movies and TV shows should “necessarily” have higher age ratings if they have “outdated behavior or language.”

But they like to be warned about offensive words or images.

Jesse Owens biopic Race (pictured) featured a white male using the n-word and was classified as a PG, but the BBFC believes it would be rated 12A or 12 on video if resubmitted now

Jesse Owens biopic Race (pictured) featured a white male using the n-word and was classified as a PG, but the BBFC believes it would be rated 12A or 12 on video if resubmitted now

Lord Kamlesh Patel, Vice President of the BBFC, said: ‘Movements aimed at raising awareness and combating discrimination and racism have received significant impetus over the past two years.

“In response, we wanted to see how this has impacted the views of people in the UK and, in particular, hear and listen to those directly affected by discrimination and racism, as their voice matters.

“We recognize that our role is not just about protecting children from harmful content, but also about helping parents who want to use images of discrimination and racism as a potential learning opportunity.”

David Austin, Chief Executive of the BBFC, added: “Violent and threatening behaviour, or the use of particularly offensive language, will always exacerbate an instance of discriminatory or racist behaviour.

“However, clear condemnation, sympathy with the victims, or a documentary or historical setting can all help frame the series and potentially give the content educational value for younger viewers.”

Creative Industry Minister Julia Lopez said: “I am pleased to see the BBFC take a strong stance on the classification of racism and discrimination in eligible film and TV shows. This important work will help the public, and parents in particular, to make more informed choices about what their children watch.”

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