BBFC: Squid Game, The Suicide Squad top 2021 complaints list

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Squid Game, The Suicide Squad, Eternals and No Time To Die are amongst 2021’s most complained about films and TV shows.

The British Board of Film Classification – the BBFC – has released is annual report this morning. I’ve read lots of these over the years, and my favourite section by far is the ‘feedback from the public’ section. This is where the BBFC details how many complaints it’s had over the classifications it’s given.

As it turns out, 2021 was a relatively slim year. The Board received 109 complaints from the public over classification, a mild increase on last year’s 93, but some way down from the 361 in 2018.

And the key things that people were unhappy about? Well, this time around, it was a TV show that topped the list for the first time: Netflix’s Squid Game TV series, which attracted 11 letters of ire. The show was given a 15 certificate, and the complaints zeroed in on the younger viewers of the show. The Board argued that it’d given it a 15, and presumably has to stop short of saying ‘well don’t let your kids watch it, and if you do, don’t be surprised’.

The most complained about film decision? That was The Suicide Squad, which picked up ten complaints. Again, this was over the level of violence in a 15 certificate film. But also: it was given a 15.

More contentious for the Board was the seven complaints received for the rating given to Venom: Let There Be Carnage, that earned a 15 in the UK (against a more child-friendly PG-13 in the US). This time the complainants were fans under the age of 15, or their parents, arguing they should have been allowed to see the film in the cinema. It stood by the 15 rating.

Seven complaints were picked up too for No Time To Die, which skated through with a 12A, and left a few baffled as to the rating, given the tone and violence of the film. Finally, four people wrote in complaining that the 12A-rated Eternals was a bit too fruity. “There is a single scene of sex in the film in which one character is lying on top of another, with some kissing and a woman’s cleavage visible. However this is brief and discreet in line with our Classification Guidelines and so is not strong enough to require a 15 rating”, responded the Board.

You can read the full annual report for yourself, here.

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