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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 November, 2004, 12:09 GMT
Indecency fears hit US television
Saving Private Ryan
Saving Private Ryan starred Tom Hanks (left) and won five Oscars
More than 20 TV stations across the US have cancelled a broadcast of Saving Private Ryan over fears they could be fined for its violence and language.

The stations, all affiliated to the ABC network, do not want to risk a penalty for prime-time graphic war scenes.

Rival CBS stations have been fined $500,000 for showing Janet Jackson's exposed breast during the Super Bowl.

ABC has 225 affiliated stations that show its programmes across the US. The remainder will show the hit 1998 film.

'Artistic tribute'

Stations in Dallas, New Orleans, Orlando and Milwaukee, owned by a range of companies, are among those to pull Saving Private Ryan from Thursday's schedules.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) refused to give them permission in advance, according to Ray Cole, president of Citadel Communications, which owns three ABC affiliates in the Midwest.

"It would clearly have been our preference to run the movie. We think it's a patriotic, artistic tribute to our fighting forces," Mr Cole said.

Saving Private Ryan, which features repeated strong language as part of its World War II reconstructions, was shown on ABC in 2001 and 2002 with few problems.

But the stations have become more cautious since the FCC ruled an expletive used by rock star Bono at an award ceremony in 2003 was indecent and profane.

In the Janet Jackson case, 20 stations owned by CBS were fined the maximum penalty for indecency - $27,500 (15,340) - each by the FCC. Its affiliate stations were not fined.

CBS is appealling against the fines.


SEE ALSO:
Network fighting huge Janet fine
09 Nov 04 |  Entertainment
Strippers earn record US TV fine
13 Oct 04 |  Entertainment
TV giants back Bono 'free speech'
20 Apr 04 |  Entertainment
US TV watchdog banishes swearing
19 Mar 04 |  Entertainment
Buffy show cleared of indecency
10 Aug 04 |  Entertainment
Senate increases indecency fines
23 Jun 04 |  Entertainment


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