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Action Required Over Sexually Violent Movies

20 November 2000

Margaret Burgess
Culture and Heritage Spokesperson

The “increasing concerns of the Office of Film and Literature Classification about “the level of violence and sexual violence in films, computer games and sound recordings” are shared by the Christian Heritage Party, as well as the United States Congress. Last month the Congress accused the entertainment world of “aggressively” marketing violent movies, music and electronic games to children.

High-level violence in classified movies, including sexual violence, has increased, and these themes are also appearing in movies rated R16 or M. (Although advertised for “mature audiences,” M movies have no age restriction).

Chief Censor Bill Hastings has given the R18 classification to four pieces of “entertainment” recently: two horrifically violent films (Chopper and American Psycho), a music CD that pushes the boundaries (Eminem’s The Slim Shady LP) and a computer game (Soldier of Fortune) featuring disembowelling and torture. But why do we need this extreme form of violent entertainment at all? Why are these appalling examples deemed acceptable as entertainment?

If the Chief Censor is so concerned, why does he not ban such materials absolutely? It is quite within his powers to do so. Indeed, it is his duty to protect the public by prohibiting films, videos, etc considered “injurious to the public good.” Bill Hastings is reported as saying young people were vulnerable to nightmares after viewing such horrific material. Then, surely, instead of wringing his hands, he should act decisively and keep these objectionable items out of New Zealand altogether.

The welfare of our children and young people, our families and our communities, are more important than the imagined “right” to view sexual violence ad nauseum.

Contact: Margaret Burgess on (06) 878 5638 Party Leader Graham Capill (021) 661 766

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