Posted on 2 May 2017 by Henry (updated post)
RP labels aren't used very often, so why do we use them and what do they mean?
Occasionally the Classification Office will assign an RP13 or RP16 classification to a film, and we recently issued our first RP18 classification to the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. RP classifications are different from R13, R16 or R18, where it is an offence to supply the film or series/show to any person who is under the specified age.
An RP classification means that someone under the specified age must be accompanied or supervised by a parent or guardian when seeing the film. A guardian is considered to be a responsible adult (18 years and over), for example a family member or teacher who can provide guidance. If a person under the age specified in the classification is not accompanied by a parent or guardian they cannot view an RP film.
Films or series with an RP label will contain storylines and subject matter that is targeted at a mature audience.
If you are accompanying a younger person to a film with an RP classification, your role is to help them understand the context, themes and material presented in the film – giving them an opportunity to think about and discuss any issues the film has raised for them. Your guidance and support will mitigate the potential harm of the child or teenager seeing the film, which may contain challenging content.
As with all film classifications, it is a good idea to read the descriptive note which accompanies the classification. This will give you an idea of the content in a film that might be challenging, disturbing or offensive. Content in an RP film may include things like violence, sexual references, offensive language, drug use and suicide. Written classification decisions on RP films are available upon request from the Classification Office. Please contact the Information Unit if you would like to obtain a copy of a classification decision.
The RP18 classification for 13 Reasons Why was the first for an online series, and there are various online streaming services that offer RP films. For online content we would advise that a parent would ideally watch a film or series with younger viewers in their household, but as an alternative could view the series on their own devices – for online series they could talk about the episodes as they go. The essential thing is for a parent or guardian to watch the show or film at the same time (or ahead of) the young people in their care – and (most importantly) to talk through the issues covered. Read our media release and blog post about 13 Reasons Why.
It is illegal to show or sell this to someone under 13 years of age unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
It is illegal to show or sell this to someone under 16 years of age unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
It is illegal to show or sell this to someone under 18 years of age unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
For more information about the classification system, contact our Information Unit.
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