St. Peters, MO, trying to censor (cancel) Labor Beat and others

Posted by Larry - July 5, 2004 (entry 205)

David Sladky writes:

===== It looks like the City of ST. Peters, Mo. is trying to censor (cancel) our TV shows. (Green Time, Labor Beat, Labor on the Job, Working in America). They've rejected 4 shows just this week for language. The words they found objectionable were hard to find and all were used in context, which means that these programs were neither obscene or indecent.

One instance was a migrant farm worker talking about working conditions. He spoke in Spanish but was subtitled. "The boss sometimes kicks me, calls me a (son of a bitch) or worse words".

Another instance was a quote of a former CIA director stating that "SADDAM was a son of a bitch, but he was our son of a bitch".

Other instances were people being shot or beat by police at protests and using the "F" word.

According to Larry Duncan, producer of Labor Beat, and Steve Zeltzer producer of Labor on the Job, these words, used in context are acceptable and St. Peters is trying to cancel all of our shows because of their political content. They can't reject our shows because of our anti-war, anti-foreign policy, Israel/Palestine, pro farm worker content, so they are nit picking about language.

I get the feeling that they are about to cancel all 4 of our shows. These are aired 3X a week and reach aprox. 60,000 cable subscribers. This is about the same size audience as the city of St. Louis, but St. Louis only airs once a week and the channel is not as attractive.

Both Labor Beat and Labor on the Job have been in production for over 15 years, and are seen in San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Rockford IL, and St. Louis. Both producers are members of UPNET (union producers network), and their shows have won awards.

Other material that was used in "Working in America" one of my productions, came from the AFSC (Quakers), and the Vets. for Peace. Some of this "objectionable" material has been on regular TV and shown in the classroom.

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