Wider social issues with media regulation

The dark Knight got the the most complaints in BBFC history, with 364 complaints.

Women in Black

  • Target Audience: Teenagers/ Young adults, it draws in a younger adudience due to Daniel Radcliffe Being the main protagonist as he played harry potter which is aimed at a younger audience.
  • No i dont think the BBFC made the right decision of giving the women in black a 12a i think it should have been givin a 15, because even though the violence was only implied i think due to the nature of  the context of violence such as suicide and the fact the characters are children make it more server. I think its way to scary to be just a 12a.

what us the future of the BBFC?

  • David cooke (Director of the bbfc)
  • we have an exciting part to play in the film and video industry’s digital future
  • The bbfc claim to be  adapting to meet the demands of the online world
  • Since 2008 the bbfc have been making an attempt to provide a content labelling system for film and the video content supplied via the internet.
  • As part of this initiative they created a new ‘watch an rate’ system specifically for straight to online content where content can be voluntarily submitted by individuals for ratings
  • 90% of 11,000 parents want to see certifications on film downloads

Media convergence:

  • The merging of previously distinct media technologies and media forms resulting from digitization
  • media properties owned by communications companies employ digitzation and computer networking to work together E.G Amazon Prime.
  • It is more convenient  for people to consume films online, its more accessible, its quick.
  • Yes regualtion is still needed because children 11 and under i would say dont know how to access online films, so they would have watch it at the cinema.

Desensitisation and media effects debate

how the texas chainsaw massacre(1973) revealed a classist regime in the bbfc

  • Regualtion as a class bass issue- the idea that censorship is a tool the enables the higher classes to control the lower classes.
  • After the film has been shown, uncesored to memebers of the British Film institute at the London Film Festival, ferman got up on stage and thinking he was among friends: “Its all right for you middle class cineasters to see this film, but what happend if a facory worker in manchester happend to see it?”
  • when they heard this gaffe, the audience became hostile and ferman was visibilty shocked. He never again referred to the true nature if his Job as a censor- to stop working class people being stimulated by conversial films

The dark Knight(2008)

  • The producers of the film prior to it being classified, requested for a 12A age rating
  • conservative party leader lain duncan smith complained publicly.
  • In a typical year the bbFc receives around 450 complaints in total, and so the dark knight comprising 42% of all complaints for 2008.
  • Ian duncan smith wrote in the daily mail “astonished that the board could have seen fit to allow anyone under the age of 15 to watch the film”
  • The bbfc has conceded that the film came close to being classified a 15, but instisted that its violence was acceptable because of its comic book-style context.
  • In its annual report, the board noted that many complaints were particularly upset about the glamorisation of knives, when incresing numbers of young people were being stabbed to death of Britains streets.
  • The number of fatal stabbings in London in 2015 reached its highest level in seven years. In 2008 23 teenagers died after being stabbed, while in 2012, 2013 and 2014 there were six, seven and eight victims perspectivly
  • the bbfc have to take in a ccount previous films that they have been classified  lower rating and provide that as argument against complaints

censors and policaians Vs the filmmakers

concept: catharsis- films as an emotional release

“horror films dont create fear. Thy release it”

The ‘nanny state’ is a term of British orgin that coverys a view that a govement or its policies are overprotective or intervering unduly with overproective or interfering unduly with personal choice. the term nanny state likens goverment to the role that a nanny has a child rearing.

From my knowledge the about history of The BBFC, i know from the case how the texas chainsaw massacre(1973)

  1. Pros
  • larger audience/ maximises the audience
  • more money made for the distributers
  •   younger audiences gets to watch more films
  • parents can decide if a film is approppriate for their child


  • Maximise money being made due to it being cut
  • wont be able to see the orginal content due do cuts
  • Only aloud to watch it at home on bluray
  • Audlts have to deal with interuptions in the cinema
  • limits independant film makers
  • distributers cutting films to 12a and not focusing on the the viewers enjoyment but are focussing on getting more money from the film be appealing to a bigger audience
  • people not getting the full exsprience
  • have to pay to see the full version on blue ray

2. The 12a certificate is benefitting:

  • the distributers and film makers becuase they earn more money “maximises the audience”
  • Parents becuase they get to go see a film with thier children and they get to decide if its apppriopriate

I agree with keromod as i think it ruins the full film exspirence by cutting it down

The article by the daily mail supports censorship, a torie newspaper, who are pr0-censorship. The newspaper has a high/middle – class following all of its followers.

Moral panic: is the intensity of feeling expressed in a poplulation about n issue that seems to threaten the social order.

Marxism sees the media in society as acting in the interests of the bourgeoisie by promoting the ideals and values which best serve them.

“the media in conjunction with the bourgeoisie create moral panics in order to perpetuate fear and maintain control over the whole of society. – Stuart Hall

The bourgeoisie feel a lack of control due to a rise in “deviant” cultures eg.free love movement, drug cultures, stronger unions

moral panics are used to perpetuate fear which enalbles greater control over the prolerarist. such fears makes the public want more policing of media and society, which mararxists argue would allow for even greater control over the population.

In 1975 when James Ferman made the famous statement about how The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was only suitable for viewing by middle class intellectuals, he revealed a classist regime in the BBFC that directly supported the Marxist Ideology.


His banning of the film shows us how the media can be policed and controlled by the middle and upper classes in order to maintain social equilibrium and prevent the lower classes from being encouraged to behave in deviant ways.

Ferman believed that if uneducated people were to watch the film it might encourage them to commit similar crimes!

The joker threatens the bourgeoisi

Yes the bbfc are caving in to industry pressures with the 12a  due to films being cut down



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