Twenty-four ABC affiliates have decided not to air “Saving Private Ryan” tonight due to fears that the violence and graphic language will result in fines by Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Denver’s Channel 7 is bucking the trend and will run the film as a tribute to the country’s veterans.
“KMGH-TV and the McGraw-Hill television stations are proud to present this powerful movie on Veterans Day. We feel we are giving viewers a choice and honoring those veterans who fought and died during World War II,” Brown said.
Comparing “Saving Private Ryan” to Janet Jackson’s breast baring (or even Bono’s use of the “F” word at the Golden Globes) is a stretch. Not to mention the film aired on ABC and Denver’s 7 in 2001 and 2002 — with no enforcement action taken afterwards.
So what exactly does the FCC consider to be “profane speech” in this post-Jackson era?
…language that is “so grossly offensive to members of the public who actually hear it as to amount to a nuisance,” or epithets that tend “to provoke violent resentment.”
Considering the guidelines also say context is critical to making a determination on profanity, it sure seems like these ABC affiliates are getting worked up over nothing. As for replacement programming, the ABC affiliate in Charlotte is airing “Return to Mayberry.”
Thanks, Channel 7, for not bowing to the pressure.