Disregard of movie ratings- - a concern

02/12/2019 10:18

The Consumer Council wishes to advise the public that movie age restrictions are in place for a reason.

This comes after the Council received several complaints in relation to a prominent cinema operator selling tickets for a R13 rated movie to children under the age of 13. These tickets were sold at adult prices and the Council views these acts by cinema operators as deeply unethical.

The Council sought clarification from the Fiji Censor Board on this issue and was advised that under section 13 of the ‘Cinematographic Films Act’ cinema operators are restricted from exhibiting R 13 movies to children under the age of 13.

“These ratings exist for a reason and are given based on the content of movies. Such dishonest practice of selling R13 movie tickets to children under the age of 13 at adult prices comprises an offence under section 20 of the Act,” Council CEO Seema Shandil said.

“The Council would like to call on all cinemas to follow the “ratings and procedures given by the Fiji Censor Board as movies are rated by them. Further no child should be permitted to purchase tickets or view R- rated movies.”

Additionally, any cinema operator that does not take appropriate steps to verify age restrictions for its young (and vulnerable) consumers, engages in unconscionable conduct, which is a contravention of Section 76 subsection 1 of the FCCC Act 2010. Cinema operators should take all appropriate steps to verify age of its consumers, for movies with age restrictions for viewing.

Mrs Shandil also called on parents to play their role by ensuring they did not allow their children to watch R rated movies in Cinemas.“Parents have a responsibility to ensure their children are not exposed to R-rated content and parents who pay adult prices for their children to watch R-rated movies are also at fault in this regard,” Mrs Shandil said.

“The Council is urging consumers to act responsibly and follow movie ratings when it comes to children wanting to watch movies. If films are rated R13 or R16, then consumers should adhere to these ratings and immediately note that the film is not viewable by children under the restricted age,” she concluded.