FCC Rules 'Saving Private Ryan' Not Indecent

FCC Rules 'Saving Private Ryan' Not Indecent
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The debate to identify just what is and isn't indecent continues.
In a TV case, the FCC now has denied complaints alleging that various ABC licensees aired indecent and profane material during a presentation of the film "Saving Private Ryan."
The commission received complaints about graphic violence and foul language in the war film. Some stations decided not to air the film for fear of running afoul of indecency rules.
But in its decision, the agency said, "in light of the overall context in which this material is presented," the language was not indecent, nor profane. The agency has found similar material depicting an historical view of World War II and wartime atrocities not to be offensive, nor indecent.
The agency also said that while some complaints referenced the violence depicted in the film, the FCC's indecency and profanity prohibitions are not applicable to violent programming
FCC Chairman Michael Powell stated in the decision, "The horror of war and the enormous personal sacrifice it draws on cannot be painted in airy pastels. The true colors are muddy brown and fire red and any accurate depiction of this significant historical tale could not be told properly without bringing that sense to the screen."
For these reasons, the agency has previously ruled this film is not indecent and does so again, he said.
He notes that fair warning "is an important consideration" in such cases, stating that frequently when it receives complaints, the public is "fed up with being ambushed with content" when they least expect it.

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