We are aware the Government was invited to consider alternative proposals that would have targeted only material involving abused and non-consenting participants, while excluding material featuring consenting participants in staged and otherwise non-abusive productions.
This seemed to reflect ordinary, commonsense principles – why target situations where everyone consents and no one is abused ?
Indeed, most of the problems with the Government’s proposal stem from concentrating on “what is depicted in the material”, instead of the real issue of what happens to participants during production.
This turns existing practice on its head: extremely violent horror films featuring consenting actors are commonly passed for release; but a non-violent film whose actors were coerced and abused into participating would surely be banned.
The Government rejected the alternative proposals on the ground that it would be difficult for prosecutors to prove actual abuse or lack of consent. Instead, it decided it would simply criminalise non-abusive productions featuring consenting participants too.
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