Passed R18 for Moderate BDSM…Taking a detailed look at BBFC guideline changes for 2014

Posted: 26 January, 2014 in BBFC
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Read more BBFC News at MelonFarmers.co.uk

See article [pdf] from bbfc.co.uk
See guidelines annotated to show chages for 2014

bbfc guidelines 2014 The BBFC announced their new guidelines for 2014 with all the usual propaganda press releases that were interpreted as ‘cracking down’, or ‘tightening up’ on the whim of the journalist.So what did actually change? Well not a lot really. Expect that the vast majority of classification decisions will end up being the same under new guidelines as they were under the old guidelines.

The biggest changes are clearly that more strong language will be allowed at 12 and 15.

Also an unreported change at R18 may be well appreciated. Before depictions of BDSM material were restricted to mild non-abusive, consensual activity. The new guidelines allow for moderate non-abusive, consensual activity.

And so the detailed changes. modified or inserted text is shown in red

Discriminatory Language

At PG: An educational or historical exclusion has been added for 2014. Perhaps the kids will still be able to watch TinTin.

  • Discriminatory language or behaviour is unlikely to be acceptable unless clearly disapproved of, or in an educational or historical context, or in a particularly dated work with no likely appeal to children.

Antisocial Behaviour

The guidelines have been updated to reflect our era of political correctness and new clauses have appeared about censoring imitable anti-social behaviour

At U:

  • Potentially dangerous or anti-social behaviour which young children may copy must be clearly disapproved of.

At PG:

  • No focus on anti-social behaviour which young children are likely to copy.

At 12:

  • No endorsement of anti-social behaviour.

Thankfully there are no similar restrictions on 15 and 18 rated films

Depiction of Weapons
At 15: 2009 guidelines simply said that “Easily accessible weapons should not be glamourised”. From 2014 the depiction of such weapons is left to the discretion of the BBFC

  • Whether the depiction of easily accessible weapons is acceptable will depend on factors such as realism, context and setting.

Strong Language

At PG: The BBFC made a point of saying in press releases that strong language would be tightened up in the lower categories. However the only change is at PG where the repeated use of mild strong language has been restricted:

  • Aggressive or very frequent use of mild bad language may result in a work being passed at a higher category

At 12: Significant changes here. Previously the guidelines suggested that strong language should be allowed if infrequent (interpreted as 4 uses in a typical film). From 2014, this is more flexible and up to the censors.

  • Strong language may be permitted, depending on the manner in which it is used, who is using the language, its frequency within the work as a whole and any special contextual justification

At 15: 2009 guidelines disallowed very strong language (ie ‘cunt’) if repeated or aggressive. From 2014 this is left to discretion of the examiners. Accompanying press releases indicate that the BBFC will now allow repeated, or aggressive, very strong language if contextually justified

  • Very strong language may be permitted, depending on the manner in which it is used, who is using the language, its frequency within the work as a whole and any special contextual justification.

Violence and Threat

At U: Mild violence only in 2009, Very mild violence only in 2014

  • Violence will generally be very mild.

At 12: The BBFC made a point of suggesting that scary, but not necessarily violent, films may be uprated from 12 to 15. The guidelines reflect this with a new clause as follows.

  • Although some scenes may be disturbing, the overall tone should not be.

Nudity

At 15: 2014 rules now sometimes allow nudity with strong detail. Probably related to allowing a fleeting porn image that was quite key to the 15 rated film, The Hunt.

  • There are no constraints on nudity in a non-sexual or educational context. There may be nudity in a sexual context but usually without strong detail.

BDSM

At R18: The 2014 guidelines seem to allow a little more BDSM previously only ‘mild’ activity was now allowed, from 2014 ‘moderate’ activity is allowed. The following is the BBFC  list of prohibited material:

  • the infliction of pain or acts which may cause lasting physical harm, whether real or (in a sexual context) simulated. Some allowance may be made for moderate , non-abusive, consensual activity
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