Mary Poppins slapped with 'PG' rating by British film classification board for use of discriminatory language

Dick Van Dyke as Bert, Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins, Karen Dotrice as Jane Banks and Matthew Garber (1956 - 1977) as Michael Banks in the Disney musical 'Mary Poppins', directed by Robert Stevenson, 1964.

The beloved 1964 film "Mary Poppins" has received a PG rating to warn parents about the use of "discriminatory language" in the film, per a recent report.

"The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) now considers the 1964 tale of Julie Andrews' magical nanny to be not suitable for children to watch alone, despite the film enchanting generations of youngsters," the Daily Mail reported.

"The reclassification is due to the use of the word Hottentots," the outlet explained. "The dated term was historically used by Europeans to refer to the Khoekhoe, a group of nomadic herders in South Africa, but is now regarded as racially offensive." 

"We understand from our racism and discrimination research… that a key concern for… parents is the potential to expose children to discriminatory language or behavior which they may find distressing or repeat without realizing the potential offense," a BBFC spokesperson told Fox News Digital in a statement. 

"Content with immediate and clear condemnation is more likely to receive a lower rating," the statement continued. 

The organization also shed light on its process for rating the film. 

"For context, we only review (and potentially reclassify) previously classified content when it's been formally resubmitted to us," the spokesperson wrote.  

"We originally classified Mary Poppins U on its release in 1964, and again in 2013 for a theatrical re-release," the spokesperson added. "Most recently, the film was resubmitted to us in February 2024 for another theatrical re-release, and we reclassified it PG for discriminatory language – see here."

A "U" rated move, according to the BBFC, "should be suitable for audiences aged four years and over, although it is impossible to predict what might upset any particular child."

The board defined a PG movie as one that should not "unsettle a child aged around eight or older." 

One of the main categories by which the BBFC judges a movie as PG is for the appearance of "discrimination." 

"Discriminatory language or behavior is unlikely to be acceptable unless clearly disapproved of, or in an educational or historical context, or in a particularly dated work with no likely appeal to children," the board explains. "Discrimination by a character with whom children can readily identify is unlikely to be acceptable."

The Daily Mail reported that "reclassification affects only the cinema version of the film, with home entertainment versions still rated U," citing the BBFC. 

Glynis Johns, known for her role as Mrs. Winifred Banks in the film classic "Mary Poppins," died in January at 100.

Mitch Clem, her manager, told The Associated Press she died of natural causes at an assisted living home in Los Angeles.

"Today’s a sad day for Hollywood," Clem said. "She is the last of the last of old Hollywood."

Fox News' Louis Casiano and Ashley Hume contributed to this report.