Film board to review classification guidelines

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Film and Publication Board (FPB) is undertaking a process of reviewing its current Classification Guidelines to measure whether they are still reflective of South Africa’s societal norms and values. 

On Wednesday, a stakeholder and media dialogue will be held at Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre under the theme ‘Sexual violence and its prevalence in the media’.

The dialogue will focus on how exposure to violence, sex and sexual violence in the media impacts on societal norms and values.

“As part of commemorating Women’s Month, the FPB wants to focus on sexual violence in the media through assessing the prevalence of gender stereotypes and gender based violence in the media,” FPB Acting Chief Operations Officer, Abongile Mashele, said.

She said violence against women does not end with physical violence, as other forms of violence, including emotional and psychological violence, have no visible scars but have long effects on victims and survivors. 

These can be worsened through constant exposure to similar themes in the media through film and other forms of entertainment media. Furthermore, constant exposure can lead to children being desensitised and normalising such behaviour.

The FPB has partnered with the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) for the dialogues. The dialogues seek to start the process of reviewing the current Classification Guidelines.  

“Previously, the Classification Guidelines were reviewed every two years and where there were legal amendments, they were revised as deemed necessary.

“However, the Council of the FPB took the view that norms, values and tolerance levels do not change rapidly over two years.  A five-year review period was introduced to take into consideration long term changes in cultural norms and values,” the FPB said.

The current Classification Guidelines were last reviewed in 2012 and subsequently published in October 2014 and have been applied since. –

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