Film Classification Review
Film classifications have changed since I was little and now people want something done about it.
A recent survey shows that 80 per cent of Australian parents feel let down by the current system. So now the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has joined calls for an overhaul of the film classifications.
ACL spokesperson Wendy Francis said the survey, by the Australian Council of Children and the Media (ACCM), should serve as a wakeup call to the movie industry and government regulators as theaters fill up during the school holidays.
“As a grandmother, I find it very frustrating to bring my grandchildren into a movie that is G or PG rated and yet find the film is unsuitable for children,” Ms Francis said.“Choosing which movie is suitable for my grandchildren should be a simple matter of following the classification guidelines.
The ACCM have been calling for some time now to change the system so that it is based on age instead. For example, G would still mean general viewing, but then there would be 5+, 9+, 12+, 16+, 18+. They further suggest that from 12+ should have some kind of legal force behind it.
“The reasons are that these ages represent, on average, significant changes in children’s development and stages of life. At age 5 they start school; at 9 are exercising critical thinking signalled by the shift from early to middle childhood; at 12 start secondary school and enter puberty, at 16, can leave school, but not yet an adult” says the ACCM website.
Ms Francis suggests that the current categories are inadequate in protecting children from harmful content. “Lasting damage can be done to children’s sense of safety and wellbeing through frightening visuals seen on the big screen,” she said.
There is a certain amount of responsibility that parents must take to ensure their children are watching age appropriate content. However this is getting harder and harder under the current system. Parenting isn’t an easy job and there needs to be as much support as possible.
For more information you can check out the ACCM website where they also have movie reviews, parent guides and other useful resources.
If you want your voice to be heard you can email Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield (Minister for Communications, Minister for the Arts, Manager of Government Business in the Senate).
07/07/2017 / Kit Densley