Wednesday 16 October 2019

Lady Gaga's sex scenes and 'addictive' Fortnite topped complaints to the Irish Film Classification Office this year

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in A Star Is Born (Neal Preston/Warner Bros.)
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in A Star Is Born (Neal Preston/Warner Bros.)
Bradley Cooper as Jackson and Lady Gaga as Ally in A Star Is Born
Director and actor Bradley Cooper speaks with actor and singer Lady Gaga during the press conference to promote the film A Star is Born at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, September 9, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Bradley Cooper filming scenes from A Star Is Born on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury (Yui Mok/PA)
Fiona Dillon

Fiona Dillon

A Star Is Born is being tipped to see Lady Gaga bag at least one Oscar, but the hit movie fell foul of one Irish cinema-goer.

A viewer who was disgusted that young children had been "put through the trauma of watching a film full of sex, drug-taking, violence and continuous bad language" complained to the Irish Film Classification Office (IFCO).

"I am sick to my stomach having seen those small children and their obvious discomfort, to put it mildly after the film," the complainant said.

"Needless to say, the cinema took no ownership, saying it was rated 15A and therefore up to the parents."

Shallow, Lady Gaga's duet with Bradley Cooper from the film, recently made the shortlist for the best original song Oscar.

A Star Is Born was the second-most popular film at the Irish box office this year.

In his response, IFCO director of film classification Ger Connolly said: "The classification 15A was given with the following consumer advice: 'Scenes of drugs use, moderate/strong violence and sex references'.

"Regarding the presence of very young children, I agree this is not appropriate.

"It is understood, I believe, that 15A means we are of the opinion that the work is unsuitable for those aged 15 and over, but that parents, who know their own children best, may choose to bring someone slightly younger.

"It is responsibly used by the vast majority of cinema-goers and has been successful."

In another complaint, an appeal was made for the 12 age rating for the Fortnite video game to be raised owing to its "highly addictive" nature.

The classification of video games is done on the Pan European Games Information system (PEGI), and Mr Connolly is a member of its council.

"Many parents are talking about the problems it is causing in their homes," the complainant said.

"There are two problems with the game. The game is a shooting game, the objective is to shoot others and not get shot yourself. The characters use shotguns of various types.

"In addition, this game is highly addictive. This is not an isolated problem for some children. This is an issue for every child who has played this game."

In his response, Mr Connolly, said the game had been rated 12 by PEGI with a "content descriptor for violence".


"Regarding your comment about addiction, this is not a classification issue," he said.

"It is, however, a serious concern, particularly with multi- player online games. In the case of children I would recommend the use of parental controls on Xbox or PlayStation which can limit time spent."

The most complained about movie in 2018 was the PG-rated comedy Show Dogs, with seven complaints out of more than 20 in total received by the office.

A number of film-goers had concerns about a scene in which a dog was coached through what to do when dog show judges inspect his "private parts".


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