Pop Videos will be rated 18 to stop children watching the satanic filth and violence
Cameron ready to give graphic pop videos an 18 rating to stop children watching them
By Suzannah Hills
PUBLISHED: 13:34, 8 April 2012 | UPDATED: 21:24, 8 April 2012
Raunchy music videos could soon face new restrictions that would give them age certification ratings just like films, under new plans being considered by the Government.
Pop stars have increasingly come under fire in the last year for sexually explicit videos where singers are often seen wearing as little as possible or nothing at all.
Rihanna saw filming for her We Found Love video in an Northern Ireland field halted last year because her outfit was deemed ‘too inappropriate’ by the landowner.
The RnB singer came under fire again when media regulator Ofcom warned that her ‘highly sexualised’ S&M video that contained scenes of ‘sexual bondage, dominance and sadomasochism’ should not be aired before the watershed.
The regulator said that several of the scenes ‘could have potentially dangerous consequences if imitated by children’.
Defending another video called Man Down that also faced criticism, Rihanna wrote on Twitter: ‘I’m a 23 year old rockstar with no kids! What’s up with everybody wantin me to be a parent? I’m just a girl, I can only be your/our voice!’
Meanwhile Britney Spears was criticised last year for carrying a gun during a robbery scene and for a steamy shower sex scene in her music video for Criminal last year.
Madonna also saw one of her videos for Girls Gone Wild banned from YouTube earlier this year for being too ‘raunchy’.
According to the Sunday Telegraph, Prime Minister David Cameron is now considering rules that would force websites hosting such videos to introduce robust age-verification systems similar to those used to safeguard children from online gambling.
Music videos are currently exempt from classification under the Video Recordings Act 1984 and 2010 so children of any age may purchase them or download them from the internet.
The issue was highlighted in a government report Let Children be Children that warned of the greater ‘sexualisation of childhood’ in music videos.
The report said: ‘Concerns focused on sexual and violent nature of song lyrics; highly sexualised, verging on explicit, dance routines; and the stereotyped gender roles portrayed.
‘Music videos were highlighted by some parents who responded to our call for evidence: they expressed concern that these videos were influencing their sons’ behaviour towards and perceptions of women in a negative way.’
In a survey conducted for the report, two-thirds of parents had come across clothes, toys, games, music videos or other products that they thought were inappropriate for the age group they were aimed at while a further 41 per cent of parents said they had seen programmes or adverts on TV before 9pm that they felt were unsuitable or inappropriate for children because of their sexual content.
Mr Cameron will head talks with leading figures in the music video and social media world to discuss possibly tightening of the law.
While YouTube asks viewers to confirm they are aged 18 before watching videos considered to have adult content, another video sharing website popular with teenagers Vevo does not do so.
Rihanna’s S&M video has been viewed more than 37million times on Vevo alone.
The Government is said to also be concerned by the style and promotion of ‘lads’ mags’ such as Loaded, FHM and Nuts and intends to hold talks with publishers over current steps to protect children.
Violent video games and those with sexual content are also being monitored to safeguard younger players.
The reaction from celebrities over possible tightening of regulations has been mixed.
Singer Kelly Rowland recently told the BBC: ‘God gave us parents for a reason – what you want your children to watch, you should monitor that. It’s not up to the artist.’
While Take That singer Gary Barlow, who is a father of three, complained about the inappropriate dance moves performed by young girls during his time as an X Factor judge.
He said: ‘Music videos are so sexual these days.
‘We had girls auditioning for The X Factor and you wouldn’t believe the kind of moves they were doing.’
The Duchess of Cornwall has also spoken out against such videos saying: ‘A lot of those videos are terrifying. I am sure they trigger a response in some of the young people. I can never understand how they can get away with making those things.’