Mary Poppins Age Rating Moved To PG Due To 'Discriminatory Language'

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The age rating of the beloved tale Mary Poppins, has been moved from U to PG due to “discriminatory language” used in the film.

This decision was taken by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) due to the use of the term 'Hottentots' in the film starring Julie Andrews. 'Hottentots' were historically employed by Europeans to describe the South African nomadic group, the Khoekhoe. 

The term was used twice by Mary Poppins character Admiral Boom, who was played by Reginald Owen, when he asks a Banks child about facing the ‘Hottentots’, before using the terms during a rooftop dance scene involving chimney sweeps. He views them as “attacking”, and directs fireworks their way.

Children have since been advised against watching Mary Poppins without parental guidance, despite warming the hearts across so many generations.

According to the BBFC, this decision was taken due to the unaddressed politically offensive language used. 

“We understand from our racism and discrimination research… that a key concern for… parents is the potential to expose children to discriminatory language or behaviour which they may find distressing or repeat without realising the potential offence”, the BBFC said.

“Content with immediate and clear condemnation is more likely to receive a lower rating”. 

They also said that the decision indicates “some scenes may be unsuitable for young children”. 



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