The UK government is making permanent a pilot program launched in October 2014 to “protect children from viewing inappropriate videos on the internet.” As a result, Sony Music, Universal Music, and Warner Music will send its artists’ music videos to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), where they will get age ratings before going on YouTube and Vevo, while independent labels will be taking part in a trial lasting six months.
According to the Guardian, the age rating program was launched in response to the sexual content of videos by Miley Cyrus and Rihanna, as well as Robin Thicke’s infamous “Blurred Lines.” However, none of these videos will be affected, because this program is only aimed at videos produced by artists in the UK.
So far, Dizzee Rascal’s “Couple of Stacks,” which features the rapper murdering people with a knife, is the only music video to receive an “18” certificate — this means it won’t automatically load in your browser window — for “strong, bloody violence,” “gore,” and “very strong language.” Meanwhile, Calvin Harris’ “Open Wide” has a “15” certificate for “strong, bloody violence,” “sexual references,” and “language.”
All told, 132 videos have been submitted to the BBFC so far, with 56 rated “12” and 53 classified “15.”
Naturally, some artists aren’t happy about the program. Singer FKA Twigs told BBC:
“I guess with my videos we’re talking directly about sexuality and there’s nothing wrong with that.
“Why shouldn’t younger people learn and explore about what sexuality is as an adult? Why shouldn’t they do that?
“We’re not living in Victorian Britain, do we want to be repressed? Do we want to have these kids doing weird things behind closed doors or should this be a country that is leading by example in explaining to people?”