Mary Poppins Slapped With ‘PG’ Rating In U.K. Due To ‘Discriminatory Language’

Mary Poppins
Donaldson Collection/Getty Images

The classic musical film “Mary Poppins” has been changed to a “PG” rating in the United Kingdom due to perceived “discriminatory language.”

The British Board of Film Classification changed the Disney movie’s rating from U, meaning universal (equivalent to a G rating in the U.S.), to PG, meaning parental guidance is suggested.

“Mary Poppins” has “two uses of the discriminatory term ‘hottentots,'” a BBFC spokesperson told USA TODAY of the change, noting how colonizers of South Africa used the term to refer to the indigenous Khoekhoe people. It’s now considered a racial slur.

“While ‘Mary Poppins’ has a historical context, the use of discriminatory language is not condemned, and ultimately exceeds our guidelines for acceptable language at U,” the spokesperson said of the decision. “We therefore classified the film PG for discriminatory language.”

In “Mary Poppins,” the character Admiral Boom (Reginald Owen) sees the soot-covered faces of the chimney sweeps and uses the term to describe them. Admiral Boom also asks Michael (Matthew Garber) if he plans to go on an adventure to “defeat hottentots.”

The change comes as the movie is about to be re-released in the U.K. for its 60th anniversary, the outlet noted.

“We understand from our racism and discrimination research, and recent classification guidelines research, that a key concern for people, parents in particular, is the potential to expose children to discriminatory language or behavior which they may find distressing or repeat without realizing the potential offense,” the BBFC spokesperson added.

So far, this change only affects “Mary Poppins” in the U.K. The film still has a G rating in the United States.

Several older Disney films in recent years have been given disclaimers due to speech and scenes that the studio deemed potentially offensive.

For example, a disclaimer was added to the 1953 animated film “Peter Pan.” Disney+ viewers were warned that some scenes contain “negative depictions” and “mistreatment of people or cultures.”


“These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together,” the 12-second disclaimer says

Other films with similar warnings include “Dumbo” (1941), “Peter Pan” (1953), “Swiss Family Robinson” (1960), and “The Aristocats” (1970).

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Mary Poppins Slapped With ‘PG’ Rating In U.K. Due To ‘Discriminatory Language’