Why are kids watching this stuff?

Published: August 11, 2012

Should we blame the parents who despite of knowing the rating of a film allow their children to watch it or the Cinema authorities who are selling the tickets to these children?

Recently I went to the theatre to watch the movie Prometheus which has an R rating universally. If you are not familiar with the rating system, let me explain that the rating ‘R’ means that children under 17 must be accompanied by parents as the film contains adult content.

You can, thus, understand my astonishment when I saw children – who were approximately between the ages of 10 and 12 – occupying two front rows of the theatre without any adult supervision! For a minute, I was in a state of shock, because I knew what this movie was all about since I am in a habit of thoroughly reviewing films before watching them. I knew that having children there was totally unacceptable.

For those who haven’t seen this movie, here is a brief description.

Prometheus is about humans who were genetically created by an alien race of super-beings called ‘engineers’. These engineers choose planets that can sustain life and then travelled across the universe to it. From there, one engineer needed to sacrifice himself, by taking a mixture of Alien which essentially broke down the engineer’s DNA. As a result the engineer is destroyed and his DNA is spread to mix with that of the native planet. From there life is created and evolved to what we have become today.

The entire story comes with very profound questions such as, where did we come from? What happens when we die? Why are we here? Who created us? And so on.

Since the film was shown in 3D visuals, all the weird species and their grimy activities were shamefully obvious on screen. I was genuinely embarrassed that children of that age witnessed such scenes, hereby destroying their innocence.

There are few more movies which are currently projected on Pakistani cinemas like Wander lust and Ted. These too are rated R and contain not only violence but crude sexual content, pervasive language, and drug usage. The censor board internationally categorises movies through ratings such as ‘G’ (Global) ‘PG’ (Parental guidance) ‘PG-13’ and ‘R’ (Adult) to classify the movies as appropriate for the relevant and suited audience. But unfortunately, the ratings are over looked by the children and adults here in Pakistan. Whether this is deliberate or stems from ignorance, this should not be done.

The question then arises of who is responsible for this? Should we blame the parents, who despite knowing the film rating allow their children to watch it? Or are the cinema authorities, who are selling the tickets to these children, at fault?

In my opinion, both are to blame.

Have parents become so busy with their lives that they have forgotten their biggest and most important responsibility – their children? Additionally, are the cinema authorities so blind that they sell tickets to movies with offensive content to such young children?

It is the duty of every organisation to demonstrate or do work for the social well being of people. In this case, all owners of multiplexes and movie theatres should be extra vigilant in selling the tickets to its audience according to the movie’s rating. I would like Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to intervene in this situation and set strict standards regarding the type and kind of movies exhibited in Pakistan. Although this is probably a petty issue for them, I believe that it could have a hugely positive impact upon the youth of Pakistan.

Our children must be treated as what they are – just children. They need to be looked after and cannot be left to run wild and do as they please.

Follow Haseebullah on Twitter @haseebkureshi


Haseebullah Qureshi

A Media Sciences graduate and critic who isinvolved in film-making. He blogs at haseebkureshi.wordpress.com

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • https://twitter.com/iQuoteWhateverr toobahatif

    yes defiantly parents to be blamed for it ..Recommend

  • Shuweikh Haqqani

    Let’s see how many “liberals” verbally flay the author for talking about morality or decency. Recommend

  • Ali

    Valid points raised by the author…exactly ppl are forgetting their responsibilities..Recommend

  • alia

    good effort…hopefully it reaches to the concerned authorities and of course to the ignorant parents as well. Recommend

  • Raw is War

    putting jehadi thoughts in their mind is ok then?Recommend

  • http://www.shakoorslounge.weebly.com A.S

    I suspect that those children were liberals. “Little liberals”..i mean. Liberty is their pride so how can they watch A-rated movies ? That will be just too conservative for them. Recommend

  • A.

    @Shuweikh haqqani
    Looks like none uptil now.Recommend

  • VivaLaRevolution

    This film has hardly any nudity and even if it did the Cinema people don’t show it.
    It is rated R because of Violence.

    It is the job of the Cinema people to stop the entry of minors in R rated flicks.
    http://s4.hubimg.com/u/6923811_f520.jpg for those who want to know what rating systems are about.

    In any case rest aside I don’t think there is any 13 year old boy who has not seen porn. Watching adult content is not necessarily a bad thing it is just a phase of growing up.Recommend

  • Mira

    Sorry to burst the balloon of some of the commenters, but in my experience the parents who bring their kids to films that are completely inappropriate for children, are those belonging to a fairly conservative middle-class who either just don’t know any better or simply don’t care. I have personally witnessed a family whose women were wearing abayas bringing children to a screening of The Dirty Picture.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Agree both parents and cinema authorities are to blame.Recommend

  • http://haseebkureshi.wordpress.com Haseeb Kureshi

    @Raw is War: No even that is not acceptable either but if you are thinking in that context then this is not solution…Recommend

  • Raima

    had similar experience several times in theaters and used to pity on the parents when i see children for the adult movies. I wish all these parents should read this and raise some “Ghairat” inside themRecommend

  • Saba Khalid

    The liberals will pounce – watch out!Recommend

  • Now

    And the liberal onslaught begins with their first warrior, VivaLaRevolution :PRecommend

  • Not that innocent

    Kids aren’t as unassuming and innocent as you may think. Some of the conversations these kids have are actually quite shocking. Although, yes, parents have the biggest hand to play in all this.Recommend

  • Raima

    Actually sudden rise in peoples life style have compelled them to let go their primary values and responsibilities in order to be in line of so called BROAD MINDED peopleRecommend

  • http://www.gloriouscars.webs.com the sUltan!

    Well done writter…..!
    Really great Effort…….
    Both the parents and the cinema’s are responsible for it….. they’re just too busy in making money and not knowing that there are children in their home too…!! Recommend

  • Moz

    Well, parents are to blame. You don’t punish one segment of the society to protect the other. There are ratings, and the purpose of that rating is exactly this. I can’t watch a certain movie just because your kids are too young. What does that suppose to mean?

    @Shuweikh Haqqani

    Just like how Islamo-fascists pounce every article that exposes their thinking.Recommend

  • Moz

    Watch out Islamists are preparing to counter logic. Recommend

  • Just Perfect

    Very well written and very pertinent ….its really an eye opening for all of us. Thumbs Up!Recommend

  • Haseeb Kureshi

    @the sUltan!: Thnx a lot guyz for appreciating it :)Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/pugnate Noman Ansari

    Jahil awam. I see kids wearing South Park shirts with sexual euphemisms all the time in Pak. Parents buy them because they see a ‘cartoon’. Recommend

  • Tin Tin

    Oye Pakistanio. When did liberal-bashing become such a thing?! Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/13097/why-are-kids-watching-this-stuff/#comments Shahnawaz

    I think parents are more responsible for it as compare to multiplexes owners because owners have only one motive in mind to sell tickets and get full pack show…they have nothing to do with who are coming to see this type of movies.Recommend

  • ali

    @ VivaLaRevolution : Have some “Ghairat ” in you…..may be you’ll give your children a porn movie to see “hey baby, your pops has some thing for you, watch and enjoy growing”….idiot.Recommend

  • Faisal

    Dear Writer,
    Whatevr you have seen , All this happen in big cities of Pakistan, like Lahore specially defence area children , Karachi and Isb red area….I belong to village , where almost 99 percent children dont have such facility, even I knw my adjacent villages, This facility is only avaible for higly rich areas where u can say respectable Liberal minds Live….
    Anyways Parent should control Their Children.Otherwise These parents will have to answer about these brought up of their children in the END , Life after Death.Recommend

  • Zeta

    liberals are shameless species. Their take their morality lessons from hollywoodRecommend

  • http://www.guideplease.com Saddam Pirzada

    There are rules and regulations but no one follow them. Both, parents and all owners of multiplexes, are responsible for this situation.Recommend

  • KZ

    whats funny is that this same topic was discussed on some radio show, moments later a show was played with some strong lyrics. where is PEMRA now? I know in the US they consider s* also slang and blimp the word from songsRecommend

  • Adharsh

    @VivalaPorm: I envy your children or children to be.Recommend

  • Gratgy

    @Shuweikh Haqqani
    Let’s see how many “liberals” verbally flay the author for talking about morality or decency

    Funny, Liberals seem to be the majority in Pakistan as it is the #1 champion of viewing internet porn or is it that the consevatives are so Porn hungryRecommend

  • https://twitter.com/pugnate Noman Ansari

    What does this have to do with being liberal? It is just common son for kids to watch only age appropriate material. What must everything have a label?Recommend

  • Ozymandias

    Totally agree. I know nine year old kids who are allowed to watch two and a half men and play grand theft auto. I mean seriously, what are the parents doing?Recommend

  • Kay

    Ignorants here are blaming the parents. As if these bigots do not know that Pakistanis are surveyed number one for watching porn stuff on Internet. And they will stop children from doing that? Hypo racy at its best!Recommend

  • Mohammad ali gaad

    We can’t blame parents for such act.Who knows that one have asked his Parent to watch such a movie or etc,it is error of cinema staff to give tickets to those who are not eligible for following category whether R,PG and Pg-13. Recommend

  • Moz


    Since you Islmists have all the ghiarat, how can u be so sure that ur daughter is not dating behind your back? Are u with her 24/7? And why don’t u look after your own kids first, then worry about his kids? And may be u let your kids molested by a mullah. So where is your ghairat. Recommend

  • Moz


    Islamists are so shameless that they let their children be molested by a maulvi. And they take their morality lessons from Maulvi Fazlullah. Recommend

  • rafaz

    whats up with these liberals jokes? They make sense though because from what I have observed they just try to target conservatives or religious minded people i.e spreading hate. For example, I recently read a pretty liberalized fake article about Muslim massacre in Burma and one of the ‘top’ rated comments,back by liberals of course, stated something like this:

    “The jaahil awam of Pakistan thinks Muslims are being persecuted all over the world”

    Like what the hell man. Grow up and accept reality and stop expressing your hateful thoughts and intentions on internet. If you are think you are so right as a liberal, do not simply take it to useless facebook, twitter, youtube or comments sections arguments. Go, get out and face your opponents or are you ‘liberals’ too afraid to loose in REAL life?Recommend

  • Rebel

    Addressed to very long awaited topic. Much needed to the parents and businessmen (cinema) Great work!Recommend

  • rafaz

    have an open mind. That porn stat was imply a hoax. You probably search for it more than anyone else. A country that hardly ever has electricity or people who hardly have access to internet suddenly become the nation to have most amount of searches for porn.
    Stop letting yourself brainwashed by Americans, wake up and do something for your country and your people for a change rather than criticizing something that doesn’t even exist!! Enough already form you liberals.Recommend

  • VivaLaRevolution

    Do your own survey if you do not agree with their results. Prove them wrong. Sue them for maligning the good name of Pakistan. Collect a million dollars and be done with it.

    Also as a pet product for all you people find out what the word “Liberal” means. Learn it’s meaning and then laugh at yourself.Recommend

  • Simba

    Can anybody tell me what “LIBERAL” actually means nowadays??? A Muslim is a Muslim, the difference can only be in his personality. but again that doesn’t apply to the fundamental rules that are in Islam. the limitation which Allah has set for us we should not cross them. plz make ur life easy. don’t engage yourself in such debates and arguments. accept Islam rather than imposing it on yourself.Recommend

  • aleem

    Parents should know what their children are going to watch. There is nothing wrong with adults wanting to watch this movie, even though some may disagree, but it’s not your place to decide for me what I should watch and what I shouldn’t. Recommend

  • http://www.bukisa.com/join/140098 cynical

    who are we to worry about? Recommend

  • Rebel

    @Simba: very true…this is new word and people have created different meaning according to their own will. All the people who call themselves “Liberal” is basically confusing themselves. I guess this is the new generation word for “Broadminded” People are forgoing their primary values and mandatory discipline..in my eye these people are called “liberals” Recommend

  • Curious

    What made them think that they can categorize themselves as LIBERALS?? Why they are trending these days? Recommend

  • Hagat

    @Raw is War:
    where did jihad come in, hes talking about abstinence from such movies which have psychological impacts on a child. Were you reading the very same article???Recommend

  • Hagat

    Your ignorance is a shame. We as human beings who live in a society have to CARE.Recommend

  • Curious

    im surprised on your comment..someone who is very rock hearted person can say thisRecommend