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British Slap PG Rating Onto ‘Mary Poppins’ For ‘Discriminatory Language’

Graham Perdue
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The deplorable rush to rewrite and reclassify everything reached the classic film “Mary Poppins.” The iconic production is now rated PG instead of U in the U.K. due to “discriminatory language” that millions never even noticed.

The word spoken in the film is so obscure that most viewers would not have any idea that it was deemed offensive.

But no matter, the 1964 classic is lumped into a category of movies not suitable for children to view without an adult present. This despite a long history of being a favorite of young and old alike.


The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) objected to the utterance of the word Hottentots. This forgotten lingo was used by Europeans in reference to the Khoekhoe, a group of nomadic herders in South Africa.

It has now been determined to be racially offensive, and thus the new PG rating on “Mary Poppins.”

Viewers may be sensitive to it being spoken twice by Admiral Boom, who was played in the movie by Reginald Owen. He believes he is a naval commander.

Once, he is hanging from the roof of a boat as he addresses one of the children. Boom asked if they were “going to fight the Hottentots.” Later, some soot-soiled chimney sweeps appear, leading the admiral to proclaim “we’re being attacked by Hottentots.”


This was enough for the film to be slapped with a PG rating. According to the BBFC, this means “some scenes may be unsuitable for young children.” 

The designation further means that, while children of any age can watch, parents should consider whether the content may upset “younger, more sensitive children.”

The BBCF said it looked at the film in a historical context from its setting in early 20th century London.

But the fact that the offensive term was not condemned during the production led to the new rating. The agency said its research showed that parents are concerned with “the potential to expose children to discriminatory language or behavior.” 

The group originally rated “Mary Poppins” prior to its release in 1964. It enjoyed a theatrical re-release in 2013, and again had no issue with passing muster.

But a new re-release is coming, and this time it was deemed worthy of a PG designation for “discriminatory language.”

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