WIN caught in ACMA web over Spiderman

The Australian Communications and Media Authority says WIN owned-NWS9 Adelaide incorrectly classified the film Spiderman as PG (Parental Guidance Recommended), rather than M (Mature).

ACMA ruled it breached the Code of Practice due to frequent violence, including violence that was stronger than mild.

Films broadcast on commercial television are classified according to the Guidelines for Classification of Films and Computer Games. For PG-classified films these guidelines state that, “violence should be mild and infrequent, and be justified by context.”

‘While the code allows licensees to modify films for broadcast, licensees must ensure that films are modified in accordance with the guidelines to guarantee that they are suitable for broadcast at particular times,’ said Lyn Maddock, Acting ACMA Chair.

Originally classified M by the Classification Board for theatrical release, the film was modified by the licensee for broadcast as PG. However ACMA concluded that the film was not correctly modified from its original M classification and should have been broadcast in the later M time zone with the corresponding M classification.

ACMA is discussing remedial action in relation to classification with the Nine Network, which provided and classified the film, as well as with the WIN Television licensee that broadcast the film.

Source: ACMA


  1. Neither the PG nor the M rating have any age restrictions/recommendations anymore. It’s ultimately up to parents/viewers to decide on whether or not the content will be suitable for them. For the most part, I find that PG rated content is suitable for children aged 7-8 and above (give or take a year or two depending on the maturity of the child), and an 11-14 for M rated films.

    And I agree about Chicken Little. The OFLC must’ve been on crack when they gave THAT of all movies a PG. I usually agree with their ratings, however with a lot of theatrical releases (particularly those aimed at children), they can be ridiculously and unjustifiably strict. I was surprised to learn that The Haunted Mansion (that kiddie movie with Eddie Murphy) was originally classified M.

    Anywho, I’m surprised they haven’t received similar complaints regarding Nine’s airings of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (which was rated M by the OFLC, but rated PG by Ch9).

  2. Tomothy, the kind of people that ring up and complain about this are the kind of people that think the Family First party has a good point and that “the innocence of children” (barf) should be protected regardless of anything else.

    Religious nutters, in other words.

  3. The rating system with PG and M is such a mess.

    Parental Guidence recommended for people under 15… right.. so is it at all in anyway not suitable for a 14,13,12,11,10 year old or whatever. No. So why have it so high, or it’ll just lead to people paying no attention.

    Anyways, wouldn’t the sub ratings tags, like V ect. be enough?

  4. Oh my mistake, but you would think that with all the breaches they have had with movies and tv shows recently that they would be able to judge the difference between the two classifications in terms of acceptable content.

  5. actually this happens alot with Spiderman, when it first came out, cinemas would totally ignore the ratings the British film council gave it, and let just about anyone in, it lead to the creation of the 12A classification

  6. Why don’t they just look at the cover of the DVD and see what rating appears on that? Then put the movie in the appropriate timeslot and classify accordingly. Very sloppy procedures, but that’s what happens when the toothless watchdog named ACMA is ‘enforcing’ rules for the commercial networks.

  7. The same kind of thing may have happened last night regarding Californication. Southern Cross Ten Sunshine Coast did not classify it and as a result, my Austar Mystar EPG classified it as G. Brisbane Ten classified it as MA.

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