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Oscars: Five-Second Delay “Censorship”?

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A five-second delay in the Oscar broadcast has the Academy up in arms. The Grammys had a five-MINUTE delay and got a sterile show as a result:

    Oscar president Frank Pierson has attacked a planned five-second delay on the TV broadcast of the awards ceremony as “a form of censorship”.
    US television network ABC will impose the delay following criticism of Janet Jackson’s live Super Bowl appearance.

    Oscar TV show producer Joe Roth said the delay would omit “profanity” but not political statements at the event.

    But Mr Pierson told the Hollywood Reporter if the show “comes with a bleep, we are all losers”.

    ….Mr Pierson wrote to Academy members saying “even a very brief tape delay introduces a form of censorship into a broadcast – not direct governmental control, but it means that a network representative is in effect guessing at what a government might tolerate, which can be even worse”.

    He warned that “once the principle of a delay has been accepted, though, how much broader a scope might be sought in subsequent years, and how long before not only words but ideas become subject to deletion?” [BBC]

Perhaps, but the five-second delay still allows for the feel of a live show and should allow for a more lively environment than the Grammys, which, though the performances were fine, felt hermetically sealed.

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