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 Young people in France will soon be allowed to watch real sex scenes at the cinema, as the government relaxes its film classification laws.Culture minister Audrey Azoulay is set to announce that under-18s will no longer be automatically blocked from seeing a film that contains non-simulated sex. The 18 certificate will now only be automatically applied to films that include sex or violence that could seriously hurt the sensitivity of minors , the ministry of culture said.

It’s believed Ms Azoulay will bring in the change, which overturns a decree from 2003, by early February before she leaves office.

France’s cinema classification board was last summer forced to slap an over 18 rating on the 2015 film Love after a lawsuit from a far-right group, which complained about its 3D-animated non-simulated sex scenes in Gaspar Noe’s Love .

Presumably films such as Love and Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac will now be 16 rated. The French 18 rating has, before this hiccup been reserved for hardcore pornography.

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The Walking Dead The Walking Dead producers toned down some of the violence in the first half of season seven after a backlash to a gruesome killing scene in the season opener.Executive producer Gale Anne Hurd acknowledged that the negative response to the bludgeon slayings of two key characters in the premiere prompted producers to make adjustments in episodes that were still in production. She said:

We were able to look at the feedback on the level of violence. We did tone it down for episodes we were still filming for later on in the season.

Hurd made it clear that the response made an impact on the production team. This is not a show that is torture porn, she said. After the response to the finale, she said they gave strong consideration to making sure we don’t cross that line.

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edge art of warThe Art of War is a 2000 USA / Canada action crime adventure by Christian Duguay.
Starring Wesley Snipes, Anne Archer and Maury Chaykin. Youtube link BBFC link IMDbThe film was Cut in the US for an MPAA R rating.

See these cuts in Cutting Edge Quick Trims video on YouTube

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Ofcom logoThe BBC is refusing an order to pay £9 million a year to the TV censor Ofcom, in a behind-the-scenes row over the cost of the corporation’s new censorship regime.

Ofcom, which will take on responsibility for censoring the BBC in April, is locked in a private battle after warning BBC executives that it wants to appoint double the number of staff the BBC Trust, the broadcaster’s current ruling body, currently employs to censor the broadcaster.

The move will add more than £5 million to the regulatory bill currently footed by the licence fee payer, roughly equivalent to what the BBC spends on a six-part drama series .

The corporation is understood to have appealed to Karen Bradley, the culture secretary, to force Ofcom to reduce its fees. Sue Owen, permanent secretary at the DCMS, is understood to have written to Sharon White, the chief executive of Ofcom, calling on her to cut the planned fees, but White is said to have argued that the proposed charges are ‘reasonable’.

The corporation is said to be particularly annoyed that Ofcom has demanded £6.5 million for the past financial year, which covers a period before the broadcaster assumes its full regulatory duties.

Ofcom insists that it will have a more wide-ranging role than the Trust, and will have to hold the BBC to account on new political correctness issues such as diversity targets.

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cbfc cuts xxx return of xander cagexXx: Return of Xander Cage is a 2017 USA action adventure thriller by DJ Caruso.
Starring Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen and Deepika Padukone. IMDb

Extreme athlete turned government operative Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) comes out of self-imposed exile, thought to be long dead, and is set on a collision course with deadly alpha warrior Xiang (Donnie Yen) and his team in a race to recover a sinister and seemingly unstoppable weapon known as Pandora’s Box. Recruiting an all-new group of thrill-seeking cohorts, Xander finds himself enmeshed in a deadly conspiracy that points to collusion at the highest levels of world governments.

India’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) Has cut xXx: Return of Xander Cage for a U/A rating (PG in UK/US terms).

The cuts list was leaked online and reads:

  • Added anti-smoking disclaimer to the beginning, middle and smoking scroll wherever smoking appears on the screen.
  • Deleted the words Ass hole, Son of a Bitch, balls, baller and fucking wherever it appears.
  • Deleted the visuals of girls lying on the bed.
  • Deleted visuals of girl pouring liquor.

The cuts list clocked in at 12s of cuts (and 2 minutes of anti smoking propaganda were added)

The cuts to strong language don’t quite square with the BBFC Insight that notes a few things that the Indian censors missed but didn’t note the use of the word ‘fucking’.

Indian news papers have been having fun noting that the word ‘baller’ is sporting term rather than a sexual term.

In the UK the film was passed 12A uncut for moderate action violence, sex references. The BBFC Insight adds:

There are verbal sex references, for example to safe words and to a stop-off at the old rub and tug . There is some focus on women’s bodies, often when they are dancing or wearing swim suits or underwear.

The film also contains some mild bad language and a rude middle finger gesture.

But to be fair to the Indian film censor, the BBFC would also require cuts for the equaivalent PG rating.

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Poster Embrace 2016 Taryn BrumfittEmbrace is a 2016 Australia / Canada / Dominican Republic / Germany / USA / UK feminist documentary by Taryn Brumfitt.
Starring Renee Airya, Jade Beall and Taryn Brumfitt. BBFC link IMDb

When Body Image Activist Taryn Brumfitt posted an unconventional before-and-after photo in 2013 it was seen by more than 100 million people worldwide and sparked an international media frenzy. EMBRACE follows Taryn’s crusade as she explores the global issue of body loathing, inspiring us to change the way we feel about ourselves and think about our bodies.

The BBFC rating for Embrace has been changed. The film has now been passed 12A for infrequent strong language, nudity, brief surgical detail after 9s of BBFC category cuts for 2017 cinema release.

The BBFC commented:

  • Company chose to reduce the number of uses of strong language (by bleeping spoken uses and blurring written uses) in order to obtain a 12A classification. An uncut 15 classification was available.

The BBFC Insight reveals a few more details about the content after cuts:

Infrequent strong language (‘fuck’) is seen on a website page. There is also milder bad language, including uses of shit , arse and God , and some bleeped and visually obscured additional uses of stronger language.

There is brief sexualised nudity, including a shot of pole dancing. Several scenes feature non sexual nudity, including female genital nudity.

Images of cosmetic surgery feature brief sight of scalpels cutting into flesh and brief bloody detail during Botox injections.

The BBFC originally passed the film 15 uncut for strong language, nudity, brief surgical detail for cinema release. A few days later the consumer advice was changed to remove the reference to nudity and surgical images. The original advice was restored after the rating was reduced to 12A.

Never cut by Australian and New Zealand censors but the film made the news after the director successfully appealed against an Australian MA 15+ rating and won an M rating instead. In New Zealand the film censor exceptionally overruled the Australian decision.

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tell me anotherTell Me Another
Talking Pictures TV, 24 August 2016, 19:00

Talking Pictures TV is an entertainment channel broadcasting classic films and archive programmes.

Tell Me Another was a talk show originally broadcast between 1976 and 1979 in which stars of the 1960s and 70s recalled personal anecdotes of their experiences in show business.

A complainant alerted Ofcom to the use of the word coon , which they found offensive.

The word featured in an anecdote told by the comedian and singer Joan Turner when describing her first professional appearance on stage at the age of 14 in a theatre in east London in 1937. She described how the dancing girls in the troupe used to tan their legs: in those days the girls didn’t wear tights…they used to make their legs up with what they call ‘wet white’, but it was actually brown . She told how, because her legs were cold and very pale, she borrowed wet white from a dancer and used it to darken her legs and face. Her booking agent however responded by saying, Take that bloody stuff off. You look like a bloody chocolate coloured coon… put that on again, you’re not coming on! .

Ofcom considered Rules:

  • Rule 1.14: The most offensive language must not be broadcast before the watershed .

  • Rule 2.3: In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context… Such material may include, but is not limited to…discriminatory treatment or language (for example on the grounds of…race) .

Talking Pictures TV said that the word complained about occurred in an episode originally broadcast in ITV regions at 18:30 in 1978 and later. It said while we don’t wish to defend the use of the term ‘coon’, we recognise that this was part of the lexicon of the era when the series was first broadcast .

The Licensee pointed out that the word coon was included for the first time only in Ofcom research on offensive language published on 30 September 20161 – a date after the episode of Tell Me Another was broadcast. Previous Ofcom research, including that of 2012 did not assess the word coon .

Talking Pictures said as a result of this case it had stopped broadcasts of this particular episode of Tell Me Another, and also reviewed the whole series against Ofcom’s 2016 offensive language research, to ensure it contained no language that raised concerns. It said it had also increased the frequency of warnings before archive movies and TV shows to forewarn viewers of outdated language.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rules 1.14 and 2.3

In our view it was not the interviewee’s intention to be discriminatory towards an ethnic minority or to cause offence. However, we considered that the use of the phrase bloody chocolate coloured coon clearly conveyed a negative reaction by the booking agent to Ms Turner’s skin colour. Even though the phrase was not directed at anyone from an ethnic minority or used in an aggressive manner, it also would have been likely to have been seen by viewers as conveying a discriminatory and racist attitude on the part of the booking agent. These factors, in our view, would have been likely to increase the potential level of offence and on balance made the use of these words inconsistent with viewers’ expectations for this programme on this channel at this time, and particularly for any who may have come across this material unawares.

We acknowledged that the language was broadcast in the context of a comedy entertainment programme made in the 1970s which contained what was intended to be a comic anecdote about comments made in 1937. However, this offensive language (as acknowledged by the Licensee) was broadcast to viewers with no warning beforehand alerting them to potentially offensive language, and without any editorial voice, commentary or other context to mitigate sufficiently the potential offence. We did not consider the fact that the programme had been made many years previously or that the anecdote referred to an earlier era, when attitudes were different, provided sufficient context in this case. In particular, we took into account that this programme was broadcast before the watershed with a potential for children to be in the viewing audience, who would not necessarily have been aware of historical differences in attitudes to offensive language.

Given all these factors, in this case we considered the word coon was an example of the most offensive language broadcast before the watershed in breach of Rule 1.14.