Remember when several ABC affiliates opted not to broadcast Saving Private Ryan due to fears of being fined by the FCC even though ABC promised to pay the fines any affiliate happened to be slapped with? Well there were some complaints about the movie filed with the FCC yet amazingly the Feds decided that the movie isn’t obscene despite some rather coarse language and graphic gore.
The film contained “numerous expletives and other potentially offensive language generally as part of the soldiers’ dialogue,” the Federal Communications Commission said. “In light of the overall context in which this material is presented, the commission determined it was not indecent or profane,” the five-member FCC said in a unanimous decision in denying complaints over the movie.
“This film is a critically acclaimed artwork that tells a gritty story – one of bloody battles and supreme heroism,” FCC chairman Michael Powell said in a statement. “The horror of war and the enormous personal sacrifice it draws on cannot be painted in airy pastels.”
Some complaints also cited the movie’s violence, but the FCC said its indecency and profanity guidelines were not applicable to violent programming.
OK kids, you got that? Graphic depictions of violence and expletive laden dialog is perfectly OK on network television so long as your movie is critically acclaimed and is about people doing heroic things during a war. Three seconds of unintended viewing of an aging pop-star’s titty, though, will get your ass fined to Kalamazoo and back. Who knows how many children were scarred for life by that brief display of bare breast! Certainly more than those exposed to the horrors of war depicted so realistically in Saving Private Ryan, right?
This is important so let’s go over it one more time to be sure you remember it: People swearing up a storm because they’ve been blown in half on a beach is A-OK! Momentary glance at a bejeweled method of sustenance delivery for newborns is BAD BAD BAD!
Man, when did the FCC start putting the mentally insane into positions of power?