Ask LH: Has Foxtel Been Censoring ‘Game Of Thrones’ For Classification Purposes?

Ask LH: Has Foxtel Been Censoring ‘Game Of Thrones’ For Classification Purposes?

Dear Lifehacker, I know Foxtel doesn’t always show fully-uncut films on its movie channels. I’m wondering whether it also trims “inappropriate” content from TV shows? The reason I ask is because Game of Thrones is classified R18+ on DVD but only MA15+ on Foxtel’s Showcase channel. What’s going on? Is Foxtel editing the episodes to attain a lower rating? Thanks, Red Rating

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Dear RR,

As an avid Game Of Thrones fan, I can confirm that all episodes released on DVD/Blu-ray have been identical to the televised versions. Foxtel “fast-tracks” each episode direct from the US without making any cuts.

The reason for the higher DVD rating probably has something to do with the way Australia’s classification system works. Currently, the Classification Board does not classify material that is broadcast on television networks. These ratings are determined by classifiers who work at the television stations using the Broadcasting Services Act 1992.

For whatever reason, it appears Foxtel has deemed Game Of Thrones suitable for viewers who are 15 and over, whereas the Classification Board has determined that a higher R18+ restriction applies. As far as we know, this has nothing to do with the special features on the DVDs which are all pretty tame.

We’ve contacted Foxtel for further clarification and will update the article with its response. In any event, you can rest assured that all the decapitations, eye-gouging and rude bits are present and accounted for.

Cheers Lifehacker

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  • It probably chose to rate it MA15+ because it’s not allowed to show R18+ content outside of the explicitly adult, age-locked channels.

  • I asked Foxtel this question on April 14th 2014. This was the Twitter converstation.

    @foxtel why is GoT rating MA+ here but R18 overseas? Does Showcase cut certain scenes?

    @lbrunsmann Hi Luke, as we are regulated by ASTRA’s codes of practice we aren’t able to show the R rated versions of show, that being said the US R rating is more of the equivalent of our MA+ ratings, if that is what you’re comparing to. Their NC-17 ratings are the similar to our R ratings. Cheers, Jesse.

  • Because that’s what rating they wanted it at. Basically. The entire “ratings” system is fucked up, just censorship by another name.

  • I can confirm that ‘Game of Thrones’ is censored for Foxtel. I noticed, when watching it on the Box Sets channel, that a scene involving Theon Greyjoy and a prostitute (Season 1, episode 5) seemed to be jumping about oddly. I got a hold of the “R” rated DVD and had a look at the same scene and discovered that the scene had been cut for Foxtel to remove shots of Theon’s penis. I hate watching censored programs, as they are not being shown as the director intended. I’ll stick with the DVDs now and abandon Foxtel’s versions. Besides which it is hypocritical to censor penis shots while still including full frontal female nudity. I believe they have also censored the series ‘Rome’. You’d think if you’re paying for shows you should be able to see them as they were intended to be seen.

  • Big scene cut from foxtels, new avengers rise of ultron, where speedy guy with cool music playing raced around inside fortress pointing there guns ect at each other and adjusting there faces, Wtf?? Foxtel.

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