Mary Poppins age rating raised to PG due to 'discriminatory language'

26 February 2024, 12:18

Mary Poppins has been given a PG rating
Mary Poppins has been given a PG rating. Picture: Alamy

By Hope Wilson

Mary Poppins has had its age rating raised from U to PG by the British Board of Film Classification.

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Disney classic Mary Poppins has had its age rating raised, 60 years after the film's release.

The movie starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke debuted in 1964 and was originally given a U certification, however this has now been lifted to PG due to 'discriminatory language'.

Mary Poppins rating was changed due to the film using a derogatory term for the Khoikhoi, a group of people who were among the first inhabitants of southern Africa. The word in question is 'Hottentot' which is said by Admiral Boom in the film.

According to the British Board of Film Classification's (BBFC) guidelines on PG content, the film has 'some scenes may be unsuitable for young children', with parents being advised to consider whether the content may upset 'younger, or more sensitive, children'.

The film Mary Poppins has had its rating altered
The film Mary Poppins has had its rating altered. Picture: Alamy

A BBFC spokesperson told the Mail: "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.

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

Read more: American academic brands Mary Poppins 'racist' because of chimney sweep scene

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Mary Poppins was released in 1964
Mary Poppins was released in 1964. Picture: Alamy

Some X users were outraged by the change in rating, with one person writing: 'So Mary Poppins just about the most family friendly film you could ever watch has had its rating changed from U to PG this is absolutely crazy it’s another example of Political Correctness gone MAD!!"

However another user stated that the BBFC may have to go further, writing: "Interesting to see @BBFC have upped the rating on Mary Poppins from a U to a PG due to the casual use of an outdated racial slur. They may also need to do the same to The Wizard of Oz, which also uses it. @ShakespearsSis 1992 hit "I Don't Care" and lots of other things do, too!"

The BBFC have altered Mary Poppins' age rating
The BBFC have altered Mary Poppins' age rating. Picture: Alamy

Mary Poppins isn't the first classic film to have their age rating updated.

Both Watership Down and Star Trek: The Motion Picture were reclassified to PG rather than U after their release, as well as Fight Club recently changing from an 18 to 15.

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