Comment from Chief Censor David Shanks on censorship & classification.
Young people's thoughts on viewing sexual violence in media.
Our Briefing to the Incoming Minister outlines our response to online media challenges in the digital age.
11 December 2017
07 December 2017
28 November 2017
08 November 2017
02 November 2017
20 October 2017
06 October 2017
13 July 2017
Including updates on the latest research carried out by the Office of Film & Literature Classification, media releases and other breaking news.
20 October 2017
Boo! Some sage advice on how to manage kids and scary movies over Halloween. Read more
13 July 2017
The Classification Office has classified the anticipated and controversial Netflix film To The Bone
Read more about this media release
04 July 2017
Our latest research finds out what young people's thoughts on viewing sexual violence in entertainment media like movies, TV shows and games are Read more about this research
06/11/2017 - R16: Violence, offensive language, sexual material and other content that may offend Read more about Family Guy: Season 17
What’s it about? The DVDs contain the seventeenth season of the American animated television series Family Guy. Each episode is around 21 minutes in length. The show satirises contemporary American society and focuses on the dysfunctional suburban family of Peter Griffin, his wife Lois, children Chris, Meg, and Stewie, talking dog Brian, as well as their neighbours Joe, Quagmire, and Cleveland.
What to expect? The series contains heavy slapstick and innuendo-laden humour, often involving crass sexual references. Each episode contains rapid-fire references to popular culture, including parodies of well-known actors, politicians, and celebrities. The publication extensively features subversive and transgressive humour, including gags about coprophilia and bestiality. This material is likely to adversely affect the development of impressionable children and younger teenagers who are still in the process of forming attitudes and behaviours towards sexuality. The regular use of highly offensive language supports the need for a restriction.
Older teenagers and adults are likely to have the necessary maturity to appropriately contextualise this material as subversive satirical comedy.
06/11/2017 - R18: Torture and sadistic violence Read more about Jigsaw
What’s it about? Jigsaw is a sadistic horror film directed by Michael and Peter Spierig. It is the eighth instalment in the Saw franchise. The film’s narrative picks up over a decade after the death of the infamous Jigsaw killer, John Kramer, during the police investigation of a series of murders that fit his modus operandi. The group of victims (Anna, Ryan, Mitch and Carly) are abducted and subjected to puzzle-like “games” that force them to confront their past decisions in life and make a choice on whether to harm themselves or other captives in order to survive. Detectives Halloran and Keith investigate the murders across the city and are assisted by medical examiners Eleanor and Logan to uncover evidence that may lead to Kramer’s apprehension.
What to expect? The dominant effect of Jigsaw is a graphic but highly contrived psychological horror, focussing on gratuitous depictions of torture. The extent and degree to which violence, torture and cruelty are depicted means that the film is likely to be injurious to children and teenagers. These younger viewers are likely to be shocked and disturbed by the brutal presentation of torture, sadistic violence and coerced self-mutilation, especially given the film’s moral underpinning of the killings as a means of making the victims suffer for harm they have caused to others. There is also a real concern that repeated exposure to this kind of cruel violence is likely to have a desensitising or inuring effect on children and teenagers.
Adults have a better ability to distance themselves, and appreciate that the material is unrealistic and contrived, and intended to thrill and horrify.
06/11/2017 - R16: Drug use, sexual references and offensive language Read more about A Bad Moms Christmas
What’s it about? A Bad Moms Christmas, the sequel to Bad Moms, is an American comedy that follows three mothers in their thirties – Amy, Kiki and Carla. In this instalment, the women must deal with their own mothers coming to stay in the lead-up to Christmas. Amy’s mother Ruth is a critical over-achiever who embarrasses Amy with over-the-top Christmas festivities. Kiki’s mother Sandy is overly adoring and clingy, and Carla’s hard-living mother Isis only shows up when she wants money. Amy, Kiki and Carla decide to rebel against the challenges and expectations of Christmas and celebrate it their way, which for Amy is a low-key event. The story follows the highs and lows of each mother/daughter relationship as they reach breaking point, then reconnect for Christmas.
What to expect? A Bad Moms Christmas bases its comedy around the dynamics of mother/daughter relationships. It contains crude sexual material and frequent use of highly offensive language. There’s some casual drug use and other petty crime as well. Some sophistication is required to understand the sexual vocabulary and humour. The film clearly targets an older audience. This content would be harmful to children and younger teens, who are likely to be negatively affected by the casual way that characters project profanity and attitudes which are socially dubious.
The fact that this is presented in a context of comedy is likely to cause more harm to younger viewers because they are likely to interpret people enjoying the film as wider social endorsement to copy or emulate the behaviours and language it contains.
06/11/2017 - R13: Violence, offensive language and content that may disturb Read more about Conor McGregor: Notorious
What’s it about? Conor McGregor: Notorious is a documentary about the celebrated Irish mixed martial arts fighter. In mixed martial arts opponents fight in a fenced octagonal ring and wrestle, kick-box, and employ jiu-jitsu techniques to overcome their rivals. Bouts are highly structured and bound by rules that allow potentially damaging moves such as kicks and choke-holds. The resulting injuries can be serious. In Notorious, Conor McGregor’s meteoric rise to fame as is tracked through well-edited archival footage, recordings of fight sequences, pre- and post-fight interviews, training regimes, and candid clips of him at home with family and friends. The documentary culminates in three fights for world champion status.
What to expect? The documentary is characterised by regular sports violence and therefore intended for teenagers and adults, primarily those who are mixed martial arts fans. The main concern for classification are the clips of real violence presented as a means of entertainment. Children are likely to be shocked and disturbed by many of the images which at face value are strong. The fact that the sport is regulated and controlled and that the violence is allowable, and indeed encouraged, will be difficult for younger audiences to understand. Such material may encourage emulation of potentially dangerous strikes and holds by impressionable children, boys in particular.
Teenagers and adults are considered to have the ability to contextualise the violence within the skills and abilities and personal qualities (including the drive for fame) required to participate in a sport to such a high level.
27/09/2017 - Unrestricted M: Contains violence, sexual references and offensive language Read more about Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony
What’s it about? Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony is a visual novel from Japan. It follows Kaede Akamatsu and Shuichi Saihara, who have been kidnapped and taken to the Ultimate Academy for Gifted Juveniles. They find that they are trapped with 14 other students and are threatened by Monokuma, a black-and-white robotic teddy bear, and his children, the Monokubs, into participating in a killing game. The objective of the game is to successfully kill another student and mask their identity as the killer in a ‘Class Trial’. Initially the 16 students band together, refusing to kill each other, but when Monokuma threatens to kill all of them if nobody dies, students begin turning up dead.
What to expect? A darkly humorous murder-mystery visual novel. There are occasional depictions of death but they are highly stylised and unlikely to shock and disturb audiences. Furthermore the static images and text-heavy nature of the medium, as well as the limited gameplay, means that young children are unlikely to seek the game out, as such lessening the potential harm to those groups.
Nonetheless the cynical premise of the game, the inclusion of sexual references and its use of highly offensive language suggest it is more suited for a mature audience.
25/08/2017 - R16: Graphic violence, offensive language and cruelty Read more about Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
What’s it about? Wolfenstein II returns to an alternate history where the Nazis won World War II. Following that game’s explosive ending, hero B.J. Blazkowicz is found broken and bleeding. Saved by his friends and family of resistance fighters, B.J. recovers and the team set out to foment revolution in the United States of America. During the course of the game, players control B.J. to sneak and fight through the ruined cities and military complexes of the Nazi Empire. Pistols, machine guns, laser guns, shotguns and explosives all feature, alongside quieter weapons like an axe. Bookending the violent gameplay, are stylish cutscenes where the story of revolution and camaraderie unfolds.
What to expect? An entertaining, emotive and very bloody take on repetitive Nazi killing. Due to the degree of bloody violence depicted, the unrestricted availability of the publication is likely to be injurious to the public good. The regular use of highly offensive language also presents some potential for harm. The frequent blood and gore of decapitation and dismemberment, alongside a threatening scene of domestic violence, are particularly likely to shock and disturb younger audiences.
The larger than life sci-fi setting means the violence against heavily armoured Nazis would be able to be contextualised by older teenagers, and is unlikely to cause them serious harm.