Olelo viewer criticizes overdubbed 'Ed Wood'


POSTED: Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The presentation of an overdubbed “;Ed Wood”; double feature by Kamuela Vance has ended its run on Olelo Community Television's Channel 52, and though it aired in the wee hours of the morning, it didn't go unnoticed.

A Star-Bulletin caller left a message complaining of its vulgar language, citing examples that could get an offspring's mouth washed out with soap, get them put in timeout, grounded for a lengthy duration and perhaps draw other punishments.

Because it was shown on cable, Federal Communications Commission regulations regarding content do not apply.

Olelo must air whatever is submitted by its producers, who sign agreements attesting that the material is not pornographic, explained Jack Bates, who handles programming inquiries.

Adult material is labeled as such and aired after midnight.

Olelo is Oahu's PEG Access, or public, educational and governmental access provider, carried by Oceanic Time Warner Cable in accordance with the law.

Oceanic told the caller there was nothing it could do about the Olelo program she found offensive, she said in her phone message.

The state Cable Television Division of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has an online complaint form that viewers can submit.

The cable TV office will follow up with the PEG provider, or might have the provider contact the complainant directly, said Clyde Sonobe, administrator. “;It's a sensitive issue,”; he said. “;What's obscene or pornographic to one person may not be to another.”;

The Olelo home page states, “;When our voice thrives, so does our community,”; adding, it “;empowers community members by enabling free speech through technology.”;

“;We're not allowed to preview”; programs before they air, Bates said.

Free speech rules governing its operation were put in place by the government.

Olelo did receive a complaint about Vance's program, however. “;Now that we received a complaint, the first thing we do is review the program.”;

Nevertheless, it is not within Olelo's purview to declare programs pornographic or obscene, Bates said.

The point may be moot as the program’s final airing was in the wee hours of Monday morning. It was followed by another feature-length program labeled as adult.

The program's images were not the issue, the caller said, rather, it was the over dubbed language.

State laws relating to obscenity state: “;Material means any printed matter, visual representation, or sound recording ...”; and spells out the condition under which material may be found pornographic. That includes whether an average person ... would find that the material appeals to the prurient interest; depicts or describes sexual conduct in a patently offensive way; and taken as a whole it lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific merit.

The viewer's only recourse now is to take the matter to court, Bates said.