You read that right, Netflix has bent the knee to South Africa’s Film and Publication Board (FPB). The agreement will see the international media company abiding by local classification standards for any content distributed throughout South Africa. Honestly, I’m surprised Netflix took the whole contract seriously in the first place but that’s just the strange 2020 reality we’re living in.
Whatever your feelings on the Film and Publication Board, it’s clear that they’re doing their best to have an impact on your life — whether you like it or not. The latest swarm of bees they’ve lured into their honey pot of classifications is Netflix, who was this morning officially announced as having joined arms with the FPB. The statement on the FPB’s website reads that they are, “delighted to welcome Netflix on board licensed online content distribution platforms following the recent signing of a distribution agreement between both parties.”
Netflix is the latest media company to join up with the FPB, following Showmax, Google and Apple and a whole bunch of others who’ve already agreed to the terms laid out by the FPB.
“The signing of this contract is the culmination of a series of discussions on the prioritisation of safe content consumption for our citizens, where materials distributed in the country are accompanied by ratings that prepare the consumer for the type of content they are about to view,” stated FPB acting CEO Abongile Mashele. “This allows parents and caregivers to make informed choices on the content to which their children are exposed.”
The signing of the contract follows the introduction of the Films and Publications Amendment Act which requires all media distributors in South Africa to have their content rated by the FPB before being released out into the wild.
While Netflix usually has their own internal procedure for rating content hosted on the streaming site, following the contract Netflix will undergo “intensive training” on the classification guidelines laid out by the FPB so as to keep their shows up to date with local standards. Whatever that means.