Video store chain changing policy on violent videos

Thursday, October 4th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Violence on TV and in the movies has long been a source of controversy in the US. But now a major video chain is making changes in the wake of the recent terror attacks.

News on Six reporter Paul Serrell says Blockbuster Video is working to put warning labels on some of its movies with terrorist themes. And they're not the only ones trying to balance entertainment with sensitivity after the events of September 11th. "Good evening. I'm Martin Sheen with the cast of the West Wing. For those of you who tuned in to see our season premiere, I'm afraid you won't." Viewers saw something different on NBC's West Wing. The actors breaking character to prepare the audience for an episode inspired by the September 11th terrorist attacks. At Blockbuster Video a different response. The company plans to label some videos with scenes of terrorist activity.

Serrell: "What do you think about a policy like that?" Customer: "I think it would be a good idea because some people get movies like Die Hard, that's got a big airplane crash in that building.” Others movies like the 'Siege' also feature a terrorist theme. Family counselor Claudia Arthrell says it's always good for parents to consider what they're children are watching. "If we're being thoughtful about the movies and what they show and the message they give and what do they really intend, then that can invite some really wonderful conversation between parents and kids." The Blockbuster policy will focus on new movie rentals and some violent video games.

But some wonder will it work? "I don't know that I feel the need for any particular warning because I suppose there's all sorts of things we could warn people against." The Blockbuster Warnings should start showing up in Tulsa in the next couple of weeks and run through the end of the year.

And it's not just movies and nighttime dramas dealing with this. Many soap operas have changed their story lines to take out knife attacks, plane crashes and other violence they think might offend people given what our country is going through.