The BBFC reveals it’s received 76 complaints over how the terms ‘God’ and ‘Jesus Christ’ are used in U and PG-rated productions.

Earlier today, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) published its annual report, and revealed the most complained about films and TV shows of the year. You can read about that here.

However, dig a little further into the document, and the Board has been facing a small amount of backlash over the way it classifies bad language and religious-tinged exclamations in U and PG certificate material.

As it regularly does, it opened up research about this and invited feedback. In all, 76 complaints were received “focused on how we classify bad language at the U and PG levels”. The Board published a language guide for parents to explain why certain words popped up in films at certain classification levels.

Stirred up by one or two media articles, the focus of the complaints seemed primarily on the allowance of ‘God’ and ‘Jesus Christ’ as terms of exclamation at PG level. The complaints against this came from both members of the public and religious organisations. The Board explained that both terms could be used in such a context at both PG and U level, “although their use at U should be infrequent”.

It has no known plans to change its guidance, but does add “we of course recognise that individual viewers will have their own view of film content and this is why we provide ratings info to inform viewers of a film’s content ahead of time. The purpose of this information is to assist parents in particular in making informed decisions about whether a film is likely to be suitable for their children”.

You can read the full report here.

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