U.K. Issues Parental Guidance Warning For ‘Mary Poppins’ Due To Racial Slurs By Today’s Standards - Conservative Nation
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U.K. Issues Parental Guidance Warning For ‘Mary Poppins’ Due To Racial Slurs By Today’s Standards



The beloved musical film “Mary Poppins” has undergone a rating change in the United Kingdom, indicating that parental guidance is advised.

Previously rated as “U” (equivalent to a G rating in the U.S.) by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), the movie’s rating has been adjusted to “PG” due to concerns over perceived discriminatory language.

This decision was prompted by the presence of “two uses of the discriminatory term ‘hottentots,’” according to a BBFC spokesperson who spoke with USA TODAY

The term, historically employed by South African colonizers to denigrate the indigenous Khoekhoe people, is now recognized as a racial slur.

In “Mary Poppins,” actor Reginald Owen’s character, Admiral Boom, uses the term twice, to describe chimney sweeps with soot-covered faces.

The film, featuring Julie Andrews as the transformative nanny, will be re-released in select UK cinemas next month to commemorate its 60th anniversary. However, classifiers identified the outdated and racially offensive term, prompting the need for reclassification.

The BBFC has been contacted for a response. They informed the Daily Mail that the failure to condemn the admiral’s language was a contributing factor in increasing the age restriction.

“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,” a BBFC spokesperson told the Mail.

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

“Mary Poppins” isn’t the first classic film to receive a rating upgrade in recent years. 

As per the BBFC’s 2022 annual report, the 1978 animated movie Watership Down was also elevated to a PG rating as classifiers aimed to “remain in step with societal standards”.

“Whenever a distributor resubmits a film with an existing BBFC rating to us, we review it under our current guidelines,” the board said in its report. “This sometimes means we may reclassify the film at either a higher rating or a lower rating than it was under previous guidelines.”

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