Posts Tagged ‘Censorship’
For those waiting for the most obvious bit of news in American television the time has arrived.
KSL will not be broadcasting The Playboy Club. Duh.
The Playboy Club, an historical drama set in the world of the 1960s Playboy Clubs, was created by Chad Hodge and is based on the real life microcosm created by Hugh Hefner some decades ago. The show is from 20th Century Fox Television, Alta Loma Entertainment, and Imagine Television and is being executive produced by Chad Hodge and Brian Grazer.
KSL is the Salt Lake City affiliate of NBC. KSL is owned by Bonneville which is owned by The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. From the moment The Playboy Club appeared on various lists as a contender for a spot in NBC’s schedule this was to be expected. KSL goes back to the 1920s with their radio station and to 1949 with their television station. They are very decided in what they broadcast and what they will not broadcast.
The confusing thing is where that line actually is. NBC has been home to over 30 seasons of the Law & Order franchise. Murder in plenty was ok. The 12 seasons of Law & Order Special Victims Unit with its rape or two per episode was ok for KSL. Back in the days when it was an affiliate of CBS the Sunday night drama Murder, She Wrote was ok but KSL and then-also-LDS-Church-owned KIRO in Seattle refused to broadcast Picket Fences. In Seattle the public response got the station/church to back down on the censorship a little and promise a week-by-week broadcast/preëmpt as they deemed appropriate. In Salt Lake City Picket Fences was shown late at night on KSL. KSL later ended up as an NBC affiliate and was expected to refuse to broadcast the series The Book Of Daniel in early 2006. Instead there was this message from Michelle Kettle, the programming director:
Management has reviewed the first episode of “The Book of Daniel,” and while . . . it may not reflect the views of the dominant religion, we respect the wide diversity within our community and have chosen to let the viewers determine the success or failure of the program.
In the press release out earlier today the programming director, Michelle Torsak (could it be she is the same person now married?) said:
Our intent is not to tell people what they can and cannot watch, but rather to share programming with our audience in accordance with our mission.
So where does KSL draw the line between respecting diversity and abiding by their mission? Apparently it is all optics. Mark Willes, the president and CEO of KSL, is quoted in the same press release as saying:
The Playboy brand is known internationally. Everyone is clear what it stands for. We want to be sure everyone is clear what the KSL brand stands for, which is completely inconsistent with the Playboy brand.
So what does the KSL brand stand for? Murder, rape, theft, (three of the 10 Commandments being broken) and all sorts of other things found in the likes of Law & Order, are ok to show on KSL. Religious themes to secular content are ify at best. Controversial programming is subject to discretionary preëmption and what constitutes controversial programming is itself subject to their own determination. Saturday Night Live is permanently banned for reasons most people probably can really only guess at. And sexuality is unacceptable when it carries a recognisable brand name but when it is a rape in LOSVU it is completely OK. Are you sure that is the image you want to be having for your brand Mr Willes? Because that good sir is what you have.