Channel One Schools Give Seal of Approval To WB Network’s DL-Rated “Felicity”

November 8, 1998

No TV network ought to be advertised
in a school. No specific TV show ought to be encouraged and endorsed
by a school system. If a superintendent was forced to pick one
broadcast network to advertise to his or her students, it certainly
would not be the WB Network. Yet, the historically insensitive
Channel One has no qualms about promoting whatever the WB apparently
pays them money to promote.

Parents and teachers have seen
that insensitivity last year with Channel One running ads for
the horrific "Stephen King’s The Shining" from ABC.
A truly awful commercial that ran in the classrooms of schoolchildren
unfortunate enough to be in a "Channel One" school.
That ad showed a father menacing his son with a croquet mallet,
the mother brandishing a foot-long knife, the young child shivering
in fear in a hallway and then be yanked by monstrous hands in
a closet, the word "MURDER" written backwards in blood
on a mirror. That’s how our children had to start their school
day. A terrible dose of violence and fear. (Think that was a
one time mistake? Channel One allowed a co-op ad for Reebok and
Fox’s "New York Undercover" to run last year. "Undercover"
was considered the most violent, prime-time, network series at
the time.) Channel One executives were laughing all the way to
their bank.

Channel One is raking in so much
money that Forbes magazine wrote a glowing report about this
marketing company and their golden touch in converting a captive
audience of school kids into a 43% gross profit. That was based
on 1996 profits, who know what they are making now.

The WB Network needed to let
the kids know about their newest Tuesday night show. Forget that
"Felicity" is about college age characters with college-age
issues. It’s all about money and eyeballs watching ads, so Channel
One said "Yeah, we’ll deliver our captive audience of 11-17-year-olds
to your show." Click on this link and see that "Felicity"
has a "DL" rating. (Forget the "PG" rating.
Recent studies have shown there is little credibility in the
"G","PG", "TV-14" ratings. All
those ratings have been applied to programs that contained very
inappropriate material that does not jive with the rating. Case
in point: "Friends" is often rated "PG".)
"Felicity"s rating of "D" stands for suggested
dialogue and the "L" stands for offensive language.

Jim Metrock, Obligation president,
said, "Channel One will always come up with an excuse, like
– ‘We aren’t advertising that show now. The fact is they advertised
the premiere of "Felicity" and the schools gave their
approval of the show, if they broadcast the ads to their students.
Now a lot of kids will be watching this program for the rest
of the year. Telling children what TV shows to watch is not the
role of any school. If a school administrator or school board
member looks you in the face and says the school has every right
to tell students what athletic shoes to buy, what brand jeans
to wear, what movies to see, and what TV shows to watch, then,
with all due respect, you are looking at a person who should
not be in or around education."