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Film and Video Censorship in Contemporary Britain$
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Julian Petley

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748625383

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748625383.001.0001

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‘Not Suitable for Home Viewing’

‘Not Suitable for Home Viewing’

(p.87) Chapter 7 ‘Not Suitable for Home Viewing’
Film and Video Censorship in Contemporary Britain

Julian Petley

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter demonstrates James Ferman at his most skilful, working closely with politicians in order to avoid the fall-out from the James Bulger case stampeding Parliament into passing an utterly unworkable amendment to the Video Recordings Act. It describes the link between Child's Play 3 and the Bulger murder trial. The subsequent difficulty of renting or buying this tape soon gave rise to the myth that it had been banned. The new penalties for impinging the Video Recordings Act were agreed on 14 June 1994. ‘Harm’ is understood in such a broad way as inevitably to involve the censors in what are essentially moral judgements. The chapter then addresses the topic of the consequences for the Video Recordings Act of the Bulger, Capper and Read murders. Board's annual report for 1997–8 exhibits that in 1997 there were cuts in forty-four works in order to remove or decrease scenes of sexual violence.

Keywords:   James Ferman, James Bulger, Child's Play 3, Video Recordings Act, moral judgements, sexual violence, murders, Capper, Read

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