Last month The Telegraph reported that Netflix were rating explicit films and TV series’ as a ‘G’ which they claimed meant ‘for general audiences’ or, in other words, safe for everyone to watch. Although this article was incorrect because a ‘G’ on Netflix UK actually means ‘guidance’ as opposed to being the American MPAA rating of ‘G’ which means ‘general audiences’.
While we frequently explain that the ‘G’ means guidance (see FAQ 8), which Netflix say means age 12 and over, it’s not always that useful. Some clearly adult-themed shows were rated G and some children’s shows were rated as G. It was essentially used as a cop-out of: “there isn’t a BBFC rating for this so we’ll just give it a G”.
The good news relating to this is that Netflix have updated their use of ‘G’ to make it easier for consumers to understand. Where there is no BBFC rating they now show a rough description of suitability as follows:
ALL: which is equivalent to U – Universal, suitable for all
GUIDANCE: which is equivalent to PG – Parental Guidance
TEEN: which is equivalent to 12 – Over 12
MATURE: which is equivalent to 15 – Over 15
ADULT: which is equivalent to 18 – Over 18
These ratings still sit alongside the traditional BBFC ratings of ‘U’, ‘PG’, ’12’, ’15’ and ‘18’ where available. The new ratings will be updated on the New On Netflix UK website over the next few days.