‘Private Ryan’ not indecent, FCC rules


‘Saving Private Ryan’ not indecent, FCC rules

ABC’s Veterans’ Day network television airing of the World War II drama “Saving Private Ryan” didn’t violate indecency standards when they depicted bloody violence and foul language, the Federal Communications Commission said Monday.

The FCC noted “that the film contains numerous expletives and other potentially offensive language generally as part of the soldiers’ dialogue.”

But the agency added that “in light of the overall context in which this material is presented, the Commission determined that it was not indecent or profane.”

The decision was unanimous among the five commissioners.

Sixty-six ABC affiliates decided not to air the movie on Nov. 11, 2004, because of fears the FCC would rule it indecent. The World War II movie includes…


violent scenes and profanity. ABC is a unit of Walt Disney Co. (DIS).

“The horror of war and the enormous personal sacrifice it draws on cannot be painted in airy pastels,” FCC Chairman Michael Powell said in a statement.

“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,” he said.

The FCC also on Monday denied indecency complaints lodged against Fox’s “Arrested Development” and NBC’s ‘Will & Grace.’


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Last month, the agency turned down 36 indecency complaints involving such television shows as “Friends,” “The Simpsons,” “Will & Grace” and “Scrubs” dating from 2001 to 2004.

Complaints lodged at the FCC have ballooned in recent years from just over 100 five years ago to more than 1 million last year. The FCC lodged almost $8 million in indecency fines last year, up from $48,000 in 2000.

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