Channel One Criticized for R-Rated Movie Reviews

August 15, 1997


(Birmingham, AL) The companion website for the controversial in-school TV show Channel One has generated controversy of its own. The TV show and website both have a target audience of teens and pre-teens, yet this summer the Channel One website reviewed raunchy R-rated movies for kids.

Obligation is a Birmingham-based child advocacy organization. It has monitored all aspects of Channel One for over 18 months. Jim Metrock, president, said, “Channel One, the MTV-like TV show that children are forced to watch in some schools, and the website are integrally connected. The TV show urges children to visit the website. Parents have every right to be outraged with both.”

Metrock said, “The review last week of the filthy adult comedy Def Jam’s How to be a Player should be the wake-up call for parents across the country. This is close to the last movie you want to be presented to your child. The movie is about a man that sleeps with as many women as he can (“a Player”). He is shown in a positive light. The reviewer mentions there is “raunchy” material but then tells his youthful audience that the movie needed a “wilder” actor for the lead to make it a better movie. The movie has over fifteen sex scenes, nudity, and profanity that would embarrass Richard Pryor. Channel One lets children in on one of the Player’s “gems” of advice: “A married woman is a player’s dream.”

Newsday’s review of this movie called it “extremely raunchy” and “unsuitable for children.”

Metrock said, “When you think Channel One can not be any more insensitive to children, they ask kids ‘What is your review of the movie Def Jam’s How to be a Player?’ They publish the children’s e-mailed reviews with their names and ages – it can make a parent physically sick.”

Channel One’s website,, also has reviewed for children such R-rated films as Face/Off and Nothing to Lose. The last movie was a profanity-filled adult comedy starring Martin Lawrence. The review also contained a hot-link to the official advertising site for the movie (

“Whether Channel One is being paid to advertise these movies or not, that is what they are doing. They are funneling children to the websites of adult-oriented movies.”

“Channel One should not be in the businessof telling children what movies they should view or not. Channel One is contractually obligated not to advertise anything worse than a PG-13 on its TV show. But Channel One has advertised in school the adult comedy Down Periscope, the ultra-violent The Quest, and Ace Ventura When Nature Calls. Metrock continues, “Apparently anything goes with the website.”

Channel One’s in-school TV show has received much criticism since its inception. This January two independent studiesby Johns Hopkins and Vassar College were very critical of the in-school TV show.

In December, Obligation asked for a formal apology from Channel One for playing the satanic rock band Marilyn Manson during the TV show. They have also asked for an apology for featuring explicit content groups on their “Channel One Playlist” on the website. There has been no apology.

Obligation also has called on Channel One to shut down its children’s “chat room.”

Channel One Network is a subsidiary of K-III Communications which is majority-owned by Kohlberg Kravis and Roberts.

Channel One advertisers include M&M/Mars,Quaker Oats, PepsiCo and J.C. Penney.

Obligation urges all school boards to stop showing Channel One’s in-school program. “The TV show is a tremendous waste of student time and taxpayer money, and the website is a place no parent would want their child to visit.” <End>


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