'The Karate Kid' Causes Outrage Down Under
The Karate Kid has sparked outrage in Australia, with campaigners condemning the movie for showing "brutal" violence inappropriate for children.
The picture, starring Jackie Chan and Will Smith's son Jaden, was originally rated M - recommended only for mature audiences - but after an appeal from distribution chiefs at Sony Pictures, it was downgraded to a PG (parental guidance advised).
The decision makes the film more accessible to children, but bosses at The Australian Council on Children and the Media are fuming about the change - and are urging parents to exercise caution when allowing their kids to see it.
Vice-president Elizabeth Handsley says, "The movie presents violence as a solution to bullying, which is absolutely wrong. Strong violence by a sympathetic character with little or no consequences is shown. Just because your 12 year old can watch the movie, doesn't quite mean that your eight year old can too. It might be very inappropriate."
Council Board member and child psychologist Dr C. Glenn Cupit adds, "The violence is quite brutal and of an adult type. It is inflicted by children on other children. It's young children doing the bashing up. Further, the violence inflicted does not show real-life outcomes of serious kicking and punching... a young audience may not appreciate what will surely result if they copy that violence."
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