A Canadian television rating system has recently been unveiled and is expected to be implemented by September. In a report submitted to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the Action Group on Violence on Television has suggested seven categories for a system similar to the one introduced by U.S. broadcasters. The categories are:
Exempt programming includes news, sports, documentaries and other information programming, talk shows, music videos and variety programming.
Programming appropriate for children under eight years. ‘Depictions of aggressive behavior will be infrequent and limited to portrayals that are clearly imaginary and unrealistic in nature.’ Shows may contain occasional comedic or unrealistic depictions.
-CTR-C8+ Children over 8 years
Programming generally considered acceptable for children eight years or older to view on their own. Programming with this rating will not present violence as an acceptable way to resolve conflict, or encourage children to imitate dangerous acts seen on screen. References to controversial themes will be discreet and sensitive. Some violence is allowed, as long as it is infrequent and in the context of the storyline.
Programming intended for a broad general audience including children. ‘Programming within this classification shall contain very little violence, either physical, verbal or emotional.’ Frightening special effects, if required in the storyline, are permitted.
-CTR-PA Parental Advisory
Programming intended for a general audience, but may not be suitable for children under eight years or unsupervised viewing by children age eight to 13. This programming may address ‘controversial themes or issues’ and may contain infrequent or mild profanity or possibly brief scenes of nudity or discreet sexual references appropriate to the storyline.
-CTR-14+ Over 14 years
Contains themes or content elements that may not be suitable for viewers under the age of 14. Programming could deal with ‘mature themes and societal issues in a realistic fashion.’ May include ‘strong or frequent use of profanity’ or ‘scenes of nudity and/or sexual activity within the context of the narrative or theme.’
Programming that is not suitable for audiences under 18 years.