Ethical Issues In The Media Industry Film Classification
British Board of Film Classification (BBFC)The BBFC was originally established in 1912 as the British Board of Film Censorsby the film industry but is now called British Board of Film Classification. They area non-governmental organisation, funded by the film industry.The BBFC is located in London, United Kingdom. It began operating on 1 January1913. Its legal basis was the Cinematograph Act 1909, which required cinemas tohave licenses from local authorities. They are responsible for the national classificationand censorship of films within the United Kingdom.It has a legal requirement toclassify videos, DVDs and some video games under the Video Recordings Act 2010.They decide what ages they allow people to watch the films and play the games. Theprimary aims are to protect children and other vulnerable groups from harm throughbeing exposed to unsuitable material. The reasons why the BBFC is importantThe BBFC is really important because it regulates and it controls what is viewed inthe cinema by the general public. You would not want to disturb the children‟s minds
by allowing them to watch scenes which contain violence, sex or bad language. It is alsoimportant to protect the young people who are 15 or younger because when they watchthe films and they are too young to watch it, it can damage their life because when theywatchthe films, they might think they need to change and act like the characters inthose films. Also films sometimes show illegal underage children were having sex,therefore people might think it is acceptable to have sex whilst underage. The BBFC‟sultimate aim is to protect children and other vulnerable groups from harm through beingexposed to unsuitable material. Psychologists believe Children DO copy violence &anti-social behaviour. Therefore this is a reason why the BBFC exist. There is anexample of children copying behaviour on the page called The Bobo Doll Experiment. The reasons why the BBFC is not importantPeople might think the BBFC is not important because they might feel they have theright to choose whatever they want to watch. Some might think that BBFC haven‟t putfilms in the correct classification. An example of this is„Dark Knight Rises‟which is acertificate 12 and a parent complained and said it should be rated a certificate 15 dueto its content.This resulted in other parents being on their side.Many years ago, about mid twentieth century the films such as „Frankenstein‟,original „King Kong‟ would have been seen to be „scary films‟. Today these films
would be considered to be almost amusing rather than be scary. Even younger childrenof about 10 years old, would probably not be frightened. Values and reactions to filmshave changed very much which is why the BBFC does not always seem important intoday‟s society.I think it doesn‟t matter what age now because younger and younger children have seenor heard violence, sex, bad language around the home. The Human Centipede TwoThe Human Centipede Two broke just about every decency law the BBFC evercreated. It is a 2011 horror film which was written and directed by Dutch filmmakerTom Six. Human Centipede Two is a sequel to 2010‟s The Human Centipede (FirstSequence). This film is about a British man who watches the first Human Centipede,and decides to make his own „centipede‟ consisting of 12 people. It was originallybanned in the United Kingdom by the BBFC because it had revolting content but waseventually granted an 18 certificate after over 32 cuts were made. The BBFC refusedto classify The Human Centipede Two (Full Sequence) for a direct-to-videorelease.The BBFC had given the preceding First Sequence title an 18 certificate. Theboard stated that they had considered First Sequence to be "undoubtedly tasteless anddisgusting",but deemed it acceptable for release because the "centipede" was the productof a "revolting medical experiment".They had also taken legal advice that FirstSequence was not in breach of the Obscene Publications Act.The BBFC stated that they would not reclassify the film in future, as "no amount ofcuts would allow them to give it a certificate".“Director Six responded to the BBFCs decision in a statement released the next dayto Empiremagazine. Six criticized the BBFC for including film spoilers in theirreport, and stated that the film was "...fictional. Not real. It is all make-belief. Itis art..." and that viewers should be able to choose for themselves whether or not they
decided to view the film. Six also referred to the BBFCs refusal to classify the filmas "exceptional".” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Centipede_2In October 2011, the BBFC granted the film an 18 certificate after 32 compulsorycuts totalling 2 minutes and 37 seconds were made. The cuts included: Martinmasturbating with sandpaper around his penis; graphic sight of a mans teeth beingremoved with a hammer; graphic sight of lips being stapled to naked buttocks; graphicsight of forced defaecation into and around other victims mouths; Martin with barbedwire wrapped around his penis violently raping a woman; a new-born baby beingkilled; and the graphic sight of injury as staples are torn away from individualsmouths and buttocks.If people want to watch full sequence of The Human Centipede 2, you can download iton internet to watch it and doesn‟t matter what age they are because you cannot provethey are over 18.
The Bobo Doll Experiment The Bobo Doll Experiment was the name of the experiments conducted by Albert Bandura in 1961 and 1963 studying children´s behaviour after watching a model hitting a bobo doll. There are different variations of the experiment. The most notable experiment measured the childrens behaviour after seeing the model get rewarded, punished or experience no consequence for beating up the bobo doll.The experiment was to try to show that children would copy adult role model‟s behaviour, even violent behaviour because they tend to act how they see others acting. A Bobo doll is an inflatable toy that is about 5 feet tall and is usually made of a soft durable vinyl or plastic. The bobo doll was most often painted to look like a clown. The doll was designed to be bottom weighted so that if it were hit, it would fall over then immediately lift back up to a standing position. It first came on the market in the 1960s. There is an example of what the kids will do when copying the adult hitting a bobo doll. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHHdovKHDNU James BulgerA further example is about two ten year old boys who murdered a two year old boycalled James Bulger. He was abducted, tortured and murdered by John Venables andRobert Thompson. They kidnapped James first and one of them was holding his hand
and took him to a railway line. They were very cruel to him by throwing paint intoJamie‟s eye, threw bricks and stones at his head, kicking and stomping on him.During the trial, the press said the reasons why the boys did that to a little boywerethey must have got the idea from the „video nasties‟ at the time.It seems that the impact of watching these films and playing on video games will haveinfluenced these young boys. It might not be the total reason but will have had a hugeinput towards the way they behaved. ConclusionI think BBFC should exist because the cases of The Human Centipede Two, BoboDoll Experiment and James Bulger emphasise that the BBFC has a major part toplay in preventing children/young people from seeing what they shouldn‟t. Althoughthey cannot fully stop the films being watched in their own homes, the limits have to bein place to try and protect everyone from acting negatively/violently. The Bobo DollExperiment and James Bulger have shown us the proof what would have happened tothe children watching the films or playing the games so this means that BBFC have toreally think carefully what ratings should be for the safely of children. Parents shouldprotect their children at home and the BBFC can provide guidance to parents with
their classifications but BBFC can protect people by putting the right ratings atcinemas or shops as this is a legal requirement. Overall I think the BBFC is positiveway of controlling what people can and cannot watch however due to changes in societythey may not seem as important to everyone because the behaviour has changed quite alot.