‘Warning: Actor in make-up portraying a different ethnicity’: BBFC will alert viewers to film roles involving ‘assumed racial identities’ – and uses of the n-word will mean at least a 12A rating in rules shake-up

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  • The British Board of Film Classification has researched discrimination
  • It found that the N-word was the ‘most controversial’ and gave rise to the ‘strongest response’.
  • It will take a ‘strict’ position on the classification of films and shows using the term

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Films that use the N-word must receive at least a 12A rating, 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 on discrimination, of all languages, the term was the ‘most controversial’ and elicited the ‘strongest response’.

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The board will also use the phrase ‘an actor in makeup depicting a different ethnicity’ when describing a ‘perceived racial identity’.

Its report also stated that this type of behavior – sometimes called blackface portrayal – would require a higher age rating in a modern film than in older films ‘where the intent may be different’. ‘ and the material ‘can be seen as a product. of his time.

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It will reveal today that it is taking an ‘even tighter position’ on the classification of the N-word in ‘junior’ categories.

Movies and videos that use the N-word must receive at least a 12A rating, the British Board of Film Classification has ruled where previously they could be classified as PG.

But it said that although the term usually ensured it was not graded lower than 12A for film or 12A for video, it may do so when there is a ‘clear and strong educational value’, such as a documentary Which is liked by the young audience.

The 2016 Jesse Owens biopic film, Race, was classified as PG. In the film, a white man uses the n-word in a derogatory manner about the greats of the 1930s and other black athletes.

Despite its positive message about overcoming adversity, it would probably be 12a or 12 if it were resubmitted today.

Research from the film body also showed that the public does not think older movies and TV shows should ‘essentially’ require higher age ratings if they have ‘outdated behavior or language’.

But they would like to warn about offensive words or illustrations.

The Jesse Owens biopic Race (pictured) featured a white man using the N-word and was classified as a PG, but the BBFC thinks it'll be worth it if it's resubmitted now. It will be classified as 12a or 12 on video.

The Jesse Owens biopic Race (pictured) featured a white man using the N-word and was classified as a PG, but the BBFC thinks it’ll be worth it if it’s resubmitted now. It will be classified as 12a or 12 on video.

Lord Kamlesh Patel, Vice President, BBFC said: ‘The movements dedicated to raising awareness and combating discrimination and racism have gained significant traction over the past two years.

‘In response, we wanted to see how this has affected the views of people in the UK and, in particular, to hear and hear from those who have been directly affected by discrimination and racism because their voice is important.

‘We believe that our role is not just about protecting children from harmful material, it is about helping parents who want to use the depiction of discrimination and racism as a potential teaching moment. ‘

BBFC Chief Executive David Austin said: ‘Violent and threatening behaviour, or the use of particularly offensive language, will always escalate to an instance of discriminatory or racist behaviour.

‘However, explicit condemnation, sympathy with the victims, or a documentary or historical setting can all serve to help frame the sequence and potentially give educational value to the material for younger audiences.’

Creative Industries Minister, Julia Lopez, said: ‘I am delighted to see the BBFC taking a tough stand on classifying racism and discrimination in eligible film and TV shows. This important work will help the public, and especially parents, to make more informed choices about where to watch their children.’

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