UK Prime Minister David Cameron is set to meet music industry bosses next month in a bid to push his proposal that sexually suggestive music videos receive age certificates, The Daily Telegraph has reported.
Thanks to the Video Recordings Act 1984 and 2010 music videos are currently exempt from being brandished with age certificates, meaning that children can legally buy and view any music videos other than those which are banned. However, Cameron believes that sexually suggestive videos such as those put out by artists such as Rihanna and Lady GaGa are leading to a "greater sexualisation of childhood".
A report at the beginning of this year said that Cameron was going to introduce a ban on sexual images in public advertising and covering up explicit magazine displays, but now Cameron is said to be primarily focusing on sexual content in music videos after the industry's negative reaction to a report he commisioned from Church Of England pressure group 'Mothers Union' head Reg Bailey. The report, titled 'Let Children Be Children', said: "Concerns focused on sexual and violent nature of song lyrics; highly sexualised, verging on explicit, dance routines; and the stereotyped gender roles portrayed.
"Music videos were highlighted by some parents who responded to our call for evidence: they expressed concern that these videos were influencing their sons’ behaviour towards and perceptions of women in a negative way."
If music industry bosses come to an agreement with Cameron it would mean that music videos deemed 'sexually suggestive' would be brandished with an 18 ceritificate, meaning any persons under the age of 18 purchasing it or viewing it would technically be breaking the law. Reg Bailey commented on the music industry's reaction to the report, saying: "Many of the industries mentioned in last year’s report have responded positively to our recommendations. I cannot say that has been the case with music videos.
“Age ratings should be introduced for music videos. There is also a clear case for age-verification for such sites.”
Campaigners for the passing of the new law have pointed to the increase in children's usage of computers and mobile phones as a huge factor in their frequent viewing of what they have deemed "inappropriate content", with the pre-9pm watershed required for television obviously not applicable to the internet. YouTube channel Vevo has also come under scrutiny, with the sexually explicit lyrics in Rihanna's single 'Skin' currently available to listen to on the channel without any age restrictions.