PBS warns stations of risks from profanity in war film

February 21, 2005

Reacting to the current political climate over broadcast indecency, PBS has warned its member stations that it cannot protect them against federal sanctions if they broadcast an unedited, profanity-laced version of a documentary about a United States Army regiment in Baghdad as it faced insurgent attacks leading up to the Iraqi elections.

The documentary, “A Company of Soldiers,” was produced by Frontline, a production of WGBH-TV, a public television station in Boston. It will broadcast Tuesday, Feb. 22. PBS will offer its stations both an edited and an unexpurgated version of the show, the New York Times reported.

Producers at Frontline said PBS had taken the unusual step of offering only the edited version of the film for direct retransmission. Stations that want the unedited version will be required to pre-record it, and sign a waiver indemnifying PBS against damages or fines they might incur because of the broadcast.

Back to the top

Receive regular news and technology updates. Sign up for our free newsletter here.