Barring illegality, adult content is allowed on public-access TV
I was watching television about 10:30 p.m. Friday, May 18, and was appalled to see some Asian pornographic clip on 'Olelo (Channel 52). A man and a woman were "French-kissing" and then the woman was showing her breasts, privates, etc. with some distortion over it. I'm sorry, but just because there is computer distortion does not make it "art." Then the program had some astronaut clips after it and ran to 11 p.m. It's almost like somebody made the program to slip that clip in. Who monitors the programming on this channel? Shouldn't there be restrictions to this kind of stuff?
Answer: PEG (Public, Educational and Government) Access programs on 'Olelo Community Television are not prescreened.
"This is what PEG Access is about" -- giving people the opportunity to share their stories, give their opinion, be creative, etc., said Angela Angel, 'Olelo's director of creative services. Basically, it's about free speech without censorship.
However, producers have to agree that whatever airs is not "illegal" -- such as being libelous, slanderous or obscene.
"The producer definitely is responsible for information and any kind of material" that is aired, Angel said. "There is a liability form that they do sign off on, (saying) that the material does not have illegal content and is not commercial in any way."
Otherwise, they have "full rights to air" what they want on the public access channel.
If a complaint like yours is received, "we will investigate," Angel said. 'Olelo would contact the producer and discuss where the line may have been crossed. If it is determined that there may be something illegal, then police would be notified, she said.
In 1996, 'Olelo aired a 47-minute video called "Blue Hail." Because the producer indicated it was adult in nature, it was aired after 10 p.m. But, as is its policy, 'Olelo did not prescreen the video.
However, after several viewers called to complain about explicit sex scenes in the video, 'Olelo contacted the Honolulu Police Department.
HPD investigated the case as promotion of pornography for minors and asked the prosecutor to pursue charges. Ultimately, the prosecutor's office said it did not feel it could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the material was pornographic.
Regarding the "Videotics" show you are complaining about, Angel said 'Olelo would contact the producer, who has been showing videos on 'Olelo since 1996. (Despite several tries, we weren't able to get an answer at the contact number that producer Michael Landau provided 'Olelo.)
The show is part of a series, with Landau producing a new one every month. "Usually it's just a bunch of squiggly lines with a bunch of feedback," Angel said.
The program in question "is not completely adult in nature," she said, with only a four-minute-long segment, distorted, being "adult in nature." Immediately after that, there is "space footage" showing distorted images of astronauts.
Coincidentally, a NASA program did air that night at 11 p.m., Angel said.
In this case, 'Olelo would try to determine what the intended target audience is and whether it might be more appropriate to move Landau's time slot to a later hour, she said.
Angel said 'Olelo appreciates calls like yours because it helps "educate our producers on their responsibility."
Viewers can call 834-0007, ext. 121, to express any concerns.
But, Angel emphasized, you will be told "that we do not prescreen programming and we do uphold the First Amendment (right to free speech). We permit people to have free speech as long as they are not breaking the law."
She noted 'Olelo operates six channels, 24 hours a day. About 5,000 programs "come through" annually.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
. See also: Useful phone numbers