The Hollywood Reporter tells us that both NBC and The CW are banning ads for the new Dixie Chicks documentary Shut Up & Sing (opening today in NY and LA, Nov. 10 everywhere else). The documentary examines the fallout from statements Chicks singer Natalie Maines made at a concert in 2003 criticizing President Bush. In addition to lost airplay and rejection by many fans, the band also received death threats for airing their political opinions. “Not Ready to Make Nice,” the compelling single from their latest CD, Taking the Long Way, addresses the threats and censorship they faced as a result of exercising their right to free speech.
The film’s distributor, The Weinstein Co., accuses NBC (owned by General Electric) and The CW (owned by CBS and Time Warner) of being afraid to associate with a project that is critical of Bush. The CW denies the accusation and NBC simply refuses to comment. Maybe it’s not a surprise that networks with obvious ties to big business would play it so safe, but the same mentality is apparently at work over at CNN and NPR (!). Both are refusing to run ads for The Death of a President, a faux documentary about the assassination of George W. Bush, citing fears that the viewing/listening audience wouldn’t understand that the “assassination” is fictional and not real.
Don’t you just love it when network executives decide what you can “handle” and “understand” so that you don’t have to figure that out for yourself? The biggest Halloween scare for me this year is the thought that the folks that bring us Fear Factor (NBC) and Friday Night Smackdown (The CW) are claiming the moral “high” ground.
Tyra, can’t you do something about this?