Age rating system for TV series a 'necessary and positive step,' say Egyptian actors, critics

Ahram Online , Wednesday 12 Jul 2017

age rating
(Photo: Al-Ahram Arabic)

The newly imposed age rating classification on Egyptian television series, applied in Ramadan, has garnered positive feedback from many Egyptian actors and critics, who consider the move an important and necessary addition, according to a report on Middle East News Agency (MENA).

Actor Amr Youssef, who starred in Asham Ebleess (Devilish Wish), believes that each TV series is appropriate for a particular age range.

“We are guests of the family in their homes and on their screens, and we must respect the different age groups in what we present,” Youssef was quoted as saying on MENA, adding that an age rating system is preferable to the censorship of scripts and scenes.

Actor Asser Yassin, star of the series 30 Youm (30 Days), also commended the rating system.

“It is a very civilised system. I support it as long as it is for the audience’s benefit. However, it may take audiences time to understand and accept this.”

Yassin says that it is important to shield children from highly violent action scenes, adding that some foreign television channels have content that is inappropriate for young children, and that a disclaimer should allow families to decide what is appropriate for kids.

Critic Nabil El-Gohary believes that applying a rating system in Egypt is a positive step towards “limiting poor quality and trivial works that spoil the public taste, and encourages us to return to a time of classy series that are concerned with Egyptian morals and important social and family issues.”

El-Gohary also called for applying the age rating to all series, “not only for their explicit content, but on works that have ideas that are foreign and strange to Egyptian society, so that the audience can have the choice to decide for themselves.”

The General Authority for Classified Arts imposed the age rating system on TV series this past Ramadan, which is similar to the system applied for films shown in cinemas. Satellite channels were also required to post a disclaimer presenting the rating before airing each series.

Last Ramadan, the Censorship Authority had seven TV series classified as ‘over 18’ for scenes of intense violence, graphic sexual content and/or gambling with real currency.

These include Khalsana Beshyaka (Ending So Fancily), Hatha El-Masaa (This Evening), Taqet Noor (A Spotlight), 30 Youm (30 Days), El-Hala Geem (Case C), and Lam'yy El-Ott (Lam'yy The Cat), and Wadaa Amny (Security Business).

Three other shows were classified as unsuitable for children under 12, including Rayah El-Madam (Comfort the Madam), Asham Eblees (Devilish Wish) and La Totfee El-Shams (The Sun Will Never Set).

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