Censorship and Regulation

The BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) are the body that regulate Films for Britain. They reward films with their certificates: Universal, Parental Guidance, 12A, 12 (Disc Only), 15, 18 and R18 (Adult Movies). The BBFC state that they censor films; in a way that they’re hiding violence from us or preventing us from hearing bad language. However, some argue that the are regulating us; we have been handed guidelines and told what we can and can’t do, we have been categorised as people. Obviously some agree and disagree about how much power the non-government organisation should have, to prevent us from watching what we want when we want, so I’m going to look deeper into both Censorship and Regulation.

Types of Censorship:

  • Pre-Empitive & Punitive – used to prevent an anticipated outrage, reactions of materials. This is what the BBFC decide on what to include by their checklist, these include: Language, Violence, Sex/Nudity, Drugs. Obviously including any of these will increase the age rating as to where appropriate.
  • Direct (Legislative) – This technique is used when censorship needs to react to react to the law. This is revolved around the Obscene Publications Act, which was introduced by Roy Jenkins (BBFC CEO) in 1959. The law is explained as:

    An Act to amend the law relating to the publication of obscene matter; to provide for the  protection of literature; and to strengthen the law concerning pornography.

  • In Direct (Self Censorship) – is a type of censorship where the creator of the film removes scenes to avoid offending the public. This was done in Clockwork Orange as there were deaths similar to the one acted in the film. Also in Spider-Man where scenes were removed over actions around the twin towers of New York, not long after the 9/11 attacks.



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