17 September 2018, Centurion. The global village is robbing us of our sacred cultural heritage and our pride in our traditions and practices. The urbanisation of children has eroded a deep understanding and appreciation of our own culture. This is the age-old debate around tradition versus progress, and it has a profound impact on the work of the Film and Publication Board as it strives to keep track of changes and fluctuations in social norms and values in fulfilling its role as a content regulator in South Africa.
The Film and Publication Board (FPB) has identified some challenges in the composition of its current classification guidelines as it relates to complex and sensitive cultural content. The Classification Guidelines is a tool used by FPB classifiers to standardise the process of reviewing films, games or publications. However, the question is, in such a diverse society, how will the FPB ensure that all South African cultures are protected and represented appropriately? In the same vein, how does the FPB balance the right to human dignity and the right to freedom of speech and expression?
The FPB is a consumer rights organisation – we protect consumers (especially children) from exposure to inappropriate content by issuing consumer advisories that warn consumers of the content they are about to be exposed to – giving them the option to choose.
The FPB is in the process of reviewing its current classification guidelines and will be embarking on road shows around the country, aimed at soliciting inputs from the public to the draft revised guidelines. Inputs include:
- Should ‘cultural sensitivity’ be included under blasphemy or it should be developed as a standalone classifiable element? By defining culturally sensitive content, the intention is to warn consumers that the content they are about to consume contains culturally sensitive material that might be upsetting to certain viewers.
- Is there a need to highlight “Gender Based Violence” or whether “Sexual Violence” and “Violence” adequately address the issues related to gender based violence?
- Whether the current age categories are clear, sufficient, reflective of society and correlate with the developmental stages, specifically looking at the 7-9 age category.
Draft Guidelines have been created from desktop research, consumer and industry research, as well as public consultations. These Draft Guidelines will be launched at a Stakeholder Dialogue session at Constitution Hill on Thursday, 20 September 2018 from 09h00 – 13h00.
This will be followed by a roadshow around the country where members of the public are encouraged to make further inputs into this draft. Please visit our website www.fpb.org.za for dates when we will be visiting your province.
For more information and media enquiries contact: