We welcome David Cameron’s commitment to work with the British Board of Film Classification, Vevo and YouTube to pilot the age rating of online music videos. This follows over a year of campaigning with young women alongside End Violence Against Women Coalition and OBJECT through Rewind&Reframe to challenge racism and sexism in music videos. This is a great move towards achieving our campaign goals, and hopefully the first step to towards a compulsory age rating system for online and offline content.
One of the young women involved in the Rewind&Reframe project said she is “increasingly disturbed by the lack of recognition of everyday racism that [she] encountered, both in the people around [her], and in the media”. We reiterate the importance of recognising the harmful impact of both racist and sexist content in music videos. This is also highlighted in the recent briefing Pornographic Performances, launched less than two weeks ago as an output of the Rewind&Reframe campaign.
Compulsory age ratings for music videos is a critical step towards curbing racism and sexism in music videos. While we welcome this move it should be part of a wider programme of action which includes elements such as compulsory sex and relationships education and media literacy, in order to support young people to identify, challenge, and navigate the media and wider society.
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