Bill to Restrict In-Flight Movies

New York Times September 26, 2007
Under federal legislation introduced yesterday, airlines that show adult-themed movies on overhead screens would be required to create seating sections to shield children from graphic content. The legislation was prompted by complaints from parents and others who said airlines were increasingly showing movies and television reruns with sexual content and violence to in-flight audiences that include children, said a spokesman for Representative Heath Shuler, Democrat of North Carolina, one of two authors of bill, the Family Friendly Flights Act.Andrew Whalen, the spokesman, said circumstances made it difficult for parents to do their own policing. “When you have a captive audience and a giant screen, how are you going to tell your 5-year-old not to look?” Mr. Whalen said. Children’s advocacy groups and flight attendants assert that young people are subjected to movies rated R and PG-13 despite efforts by airlines to edit the films. Recent images have depicted a man shooting his wife in the face, from the movie “Fracture.”Mr. Shuler cited a constituent who was angered to have to try to shield her children from scenes in “Last Kiss,” in which a married architect is tempted by a beautiful student. The constituent also complained that “The Last King of Scotland,” about the brutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, was playing on some flights. Federal broadcast laws do not apply to in-flight entertainment, and airlines are not required to adhere to motion picture ratings. Mr. Whalen said legislation would not apply to individual screens in headrests.
Family First comment: We’d like to hear about your experience of travelling with children and inappropriate movies being shown on the flight. Email [email protected]