Non-profit organizations want to use offensive sex scenes to label the “lack of consent” label in films and on television

A non-profit organization focused on changing the conversation about sexual consent is calling for films and TV shows to be reclassified as “lack of consent” to better educate Australians on the issue.

The idea for a new classification came about when Consent Labs conducted a study of 1,000 Aussies between the ages of 18 and 44. They showed participants intimate scenes from movies and shows and asked them to classify what they saw.

Over half (57 percent) of participants were unable to decipher which scenes did or did not contain non-consensual acts.

“Our research shows that despite Australians’ best intentions to teach or learn consent – as in school or as parents – we still find that it is misdefined,” said Consent Labs CEO, Co-Founder and Managing Director Angelique when

Screenshot of Bridgerton.
A recent study found that only 57 per cent of Australians could correctly decipher scenes of consensual and non-consensual sex.

“While adding classification to content may seem simple, it is a powerful addition and can even be used as a teaching tool.

“From scenes in children’s films where women are kissed while they sleep, to romantic comedies where men are tied to a bed and their struggle is acted out for laughs, or scenes that are portrayed as romantic even though the person ‘No’ says ‘ over and over.

“These actions are intended to add dramatic effect to a scene, but the visualization without warning perpetuates and normalizes the lack of approval.”

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The non-profit organization wants the warning to be about children’s cartoons in which unconscious characters are kissed.

While some shows depict very blatant sexual violence, many modern film and television scenes have hit the cultural conversation with people unable to come to a conclusion.

The sex scene between Daphne and her Duke in Bridgeton is a great example – the Duke said “no” and Daphne continued.

There was an outcry, but many still debated what the scene represented.

Another example is in The devil Wears Prada where the main character Andy is drunk in Paris and repeatedly says “no” to the advances of love interests Christian Thompson – once even saying she was too drunk to make the decision. He persists and eventually prevails. When this film first came out, no one batted an eyelid.

The devil Wears Prada
The Devil Wears Prada has been cited as having a non-consensual romantic scene.
20th century fox

Like most classifications, a new “Lack of Consent” label would warn audiences about the content they were about to watch, but would be unique in that it would also act as an educational tool, giving viewers a clue as to what it’s about seeing is not an acceptable, consensual sexual interaction.

“It’s important to know what you’re looking at,” said Joyce Yu, co-founder and CEO of Consent Labs.

“That’s why we classify rough language, nudity and drug use. And so we have to classify the lack of consent.” Non-profit organizations want to use offensive sex scenes to label the “lack of consent” label in films and on television


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