Sunday, January 27, 2008

Cutting Out the Dirty Parts

The Federal Communications Commission wants to fine ABC $1.4 million for airing an episode of "NYPD Blue" in 2003 showing a woman's nude buttocks. The network owner, Walt Disney Company, will appeal.

In the sexual Dark Ages of my adolescence, teenagers would mark the hot passages of novels for the delectation of their peers. Now the enterprise has come full circle--with disastrous results.

A Utah retailer of family-friendly tapes and DVDs--movies with the "dirty parts" cut out of them--has been arrested for trading sex with two 14-year-old girls.

Daniel Dean Thompson's Clean Flix was a video outlet trading in purified versions, catering to clientele who wanted to watch hit movies without nudity, sex, foul language or graphic violence.

But Thompson may have spent too much time watching the excised portions of his products, and now he is facing jail time on charges of sexual abuse and patronizing prostitutes.

This comes after lawsuits by Hollywood studios and the Directors Guild of America for mangling movies by editing out such elements of their art as Kate Winslet's bare breasts in "Titanic."

Sounds a lot like the plot of the film versions of Somerset Maugham's "Rain," in which a South Seas missionary rails against the loose behavior of Gloria Swanson, Joan Crawford and Rita Hayworth, only to go mad with desire over their charms.

If there's another remake, Thompson is not likely to be around to cut out the dirty parts. but ABC will have to be careful about showing it on TV

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