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New Zealand Adds Suicide Content Warning Before 'A Star Is Born'

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Editor's Note

Warning: This post contains spoilers about “A Star Is Born.”

New Zealand has added a suicide warning to its classification (akin to the maturity rating in the U.S.) to “A Star Is Born” following complaints of distress from viewers.

Complaints to the Office of Film & Literature Classification were filed on behalf of viewers from mental health organizations Victim Support and the Mental Health Foundation. The film is rated M, which means unrestricted but suitable for people 16 and older.

Like in the U.S., classifications can come with details that include why a movie has a certain rating. “A Star Is Born” carries a note that states the movie includes “sex scenes, offensive language and drug use,” according to The Guardian. After the complaints, David Shanks, head of the classification office, added “and suicide” to the end of the note.

“Many people in New Zealand have been impacted by suicide,” Shanks told The Guardian. “For those who have lost someone close to them, a warning gives them a chance to make an informed choice about watching.”

In the U.S., the movie is rated R, meaning the movie is restricted to people ages 17 and older unless a parent or guardian is present. The Motion Picture American Association gave the movie an “R” rating for language, some sexuality, nudity and substance abuse.

While “A Star Is Born” does not show the suicide of the character who dies, details leading up to their suicide make the method clear. People began warning each other about the scenes on social media after the movie premiered in the U.S. because they found the storyline distressing and weren’t prepared for it.

Originally published: November 7, 2018
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