Due to an increase of complaints, Star Wars and Flash Gordon have been granted harsher ratings.
Films including Star Wars, Rocky, and Flash Gordon have had their age classifications tightened in order to “address discrimination wherever it occurs.”
Several classic films have had their age classifications modified from PG to 12A by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). The tighter classifications were implemented, according to the board, “to ensure regulations remain in line with parental expectations and societal standards.”
A PG grade indicates that a film will not disturb a child aged eight or older, whereas a 12A rating indicates that children under the age of 12 should not watch without being accompanied by an adult.
Flash Gordon’s 40th anniversary re-release was the subject of 27 of the BBFC’s 93 complaints in 2020.
Due to the use of “discriminatory stereotypes,” the re-release was classed to 12A.
The preconceptions were not specified by the BBFC. Ming the Merciless, Flash Gordon’s major nemesis, was Asian in appearance but played by Swedish-French actor Max von Sydow.
Rocky, the 1976 boxing classic, has now been downgraded to a 12A for “moderate violence, mouthed bad language, and domestic abuse.”
U has awarded Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back a fresh PG rating for “moderate violence and slight threat.”
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was also moved to 12A for “moderate fantasy violence and threat,” according to the expanded edition.
The Elephant Man’s rating was changed from U to PG because of “moderate danger, disturbing sequences, and injury detail,” while Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back was changed from U to PG because of “moderate violence and light threat.”
“Every four to five years, we talk to over 10,000 people to amend our Classification Guidelines,” BBFC chief executive David Austin stated.
“As a result of shifting societal standards, it is very uncommon for a distributor to submit anything to us that we previously classified but now need to reclassify under our current requirements.
“Discrimination is one of our fundamental issues, and the tragic murder of George Floyd in 2020, as well as the accompanying Black Lives Matter rallies, demonstrated how critical it is that discrimination be addressed and reported wherever it occurs.”