13 September 2010
ABC breaches its code of practice by incorrectly classifying The Proposition as M
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has found that ABC TV breached the ABC Code of Practice 2007 (the ABC code) by incorrectly classifying Australian film The Proposition as M, despite it containing frequent and realistic scenes of violence.
‘Correct classification of films on television meaningfully guides the audience in deciding what is appropriate for them and their families,’ said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman. ‘In this instance, the ABC did not go far enough to modify The Proposition from its cinematic release—classified MA 15+—so as to be suitable for classification and broadcast as M.’
The ABC code provides that depictions of violence at the M classification ‘be infrequent, and not have a high impact, and/or not be gratuitous.’ It also states that ‘the degree of explicitness and intensity of treatment will determine what can be accommodated in the M category—the less explicit or less intense material will be included in the M classification and the more explicit or more intense material, especially violent material, will be included in the MA15+ classification.’
The ACMA investigation found that The Proposition, as broadcast by the ABC, contained frequent, realistic treatments of detailed violence. The broadcast also included a high impact and prolonged scene of violence at the film’s climax that was unsuitable for an M audience.
The ABC has indicated it will ensure any future broadcasts of the film will be televised with an MA15+ classification. It will also provide a copy of the final investigation report to its classification staff as part of training sessions.
Noting the ABC’s very sound record in classification matters over recent years, the ACMA is satisfied with this response, considering it commensurate with the breach.
Investigation report 2409 can be found here on the ACMA website.
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: Donald Robertson, Media Manager, on (02) 9334 7980, 0418 86 1766 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The ACMA is Australia’s regulator for broadcasting, the internet, radiocommunications and telecommunications. The ACMA’s strategic intent is to make communications and media work in Australia’s public interest. For more information: www.acma.gov.au.