Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Profanity censored, but not headless corpses

I may be the only squeamish person in the galaxy, but I find this weird:

Broadcasting & Cable reports that:

[Re: The War ] " PBS is feeding both an edited and unedited version of The War to stations for each of seven two-hour debut broadcasts over seven evenings, which began Sunday night. It feeds only the edited version -- minus four swear words that crop up in episodes two and five -- to stations for weekend "stacking," when some stations will run all four of the first week's episodes back-to-back, which means that they will start airing in the afternoon or even the morning.

"Why? "Because conceivably, a four-year-old could watch it,” PBS spokeswoman Lea Sloan said, "and it would be going right into the teeth of the FCC." "

Umm . . . would a four-year-old not balk at the pictures of beheaded or gutted bodies, especially the ones with flies clustering over them? Would said four-year-old be oblivious to verbal descriptions of torture and mayhem?

The War is an excellent show and I hope it wins a passel o' Emmys. It is also engaging history. But cutting out four swear words and leaving in gore because "conceivably, a four-year-old could watch it" is just plain silly, and indicates that PBS--or, in truth, the FCC, to whom PBS must answer--thinks we have very distorted sensibilities.

No comments: