HomeDisney News'Mary Poppins' Gets New Rating Due to "Discriminatory Language"

‘Mary Poppins’ Gets New Rating Due to “Discriminatory Language”

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Who doesn’t love Mary Poppins? Aside from Dick Van Dykes terrible accent, there’s nothing offensive in the movie in the least. At least, we thought there wasn’t. 

It turns out there is some “discriminatory language” in the classic 1964 Disney flick. Apparently, Mary Poppins has the ability to offend or harm, according to Variety. The film now has a new cinema rating from the British Board of Film Classification

Previously, the BBFC had rated Mary Poppins as U, which is short for Universal. According to the board’s site, a U-rated piece of media “is suitable for audiences aged four years and over,” and films under this umbrella “should be set within a positive framework and should offer reassuring counterbalances to any violence, threat or horror.

Mary Poppins gets a new rating in the UK
Image Credit: Bing AI

So, how did Walt’s beloved movie starring Julie Andrews break this Universal rating? Is it something in the lyrics of the Sherman Brothers’ memorable songs?

No. While the BBFC didn’t come right out and say it, Variety points to a Daily Mail story that indicates that two of Admiral Boom’s lines may be the cause. Yes, two lines of dialog caused this whole mess. 

On two occasions, Boom refers to a dated name Europeans gave a group of the South African Khoikhoi people: “Hottentots.” While most of us probably gave this terminology no thought, it turns out that this nickname has become offensive over time. 

The BBFC stated to the Daily Mail concerning the reclassified rating:

We understand from our racism and discrimination research… that a key concern for… parents is the potential to expose children to discriminatory language or behavior which they may find distressing or repeat without realizing the potential offense … Content with immediate and clear condemnation is more likely to receive a lower rating.

Thankfully, Mary Poppins is still rated G here in the USA. 

[Source: Variety]

[Source: Daily Mail]


Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.



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