USS Kitty Hawk limits movies after complaints
November 16, 2007
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Now showing on the USS Kitty Hawk: fewer rated-R movies.
The captain of the Yokosuka-based aircraft carrier shifted internal programming last week due to complaints about gratuitous violence, gore and racist language in several movies shown aboard the ship, which is at sea.
Crewmembers gave the action mixed reviews.
Stars and Stripes received several anonymous e-mails from crewmembers saying they were being shown cartoons on the ship’s movie channels.
“We’re all adults here,” one sailor said in an e-mail.
Another pondered the increased likelihood of crewmembers going crazy if cartoons were all they could watch at sea.
Ship spokesman Lt. Bill Clinton said crewmembers also were complaining about offensive material, and only three movies were restricted.
“Soul Plane” was pulled due to complaints about the overuse of the “N” word, Clinton said. The film “Never Die Alone” drew complaints about glorifying rape, violence against women and gang affiliation, and “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” was axed due to extreme violence, brutality and gratuitous gore, Clinton said.
Complaints were received about all three movies, and commanding officer Capt. Todd Zecchin pulled them “for the benefit of the crew,” Clinton said.
“It is not the intent of the CO to deny viewing any titles due to his own personal views. However, he does take into consideration the overall feedback that we receive for titles that may be offensive to crewmembers and acts accordingly,” Clinton said.
The Naval Motion Picture Service sends the ship 12 new movies monthly. The service prescreens the films and supplies 35 mm films and 8 mm videocassettes to 800 afloat and shore commands, providing an estimated 100 million movie viewings each year.
Regulations prohibit censorship, but allow commanding officers the option to restrict films “if its exhibition would have an adverse impact on morale.”
In the cases above, all films were deemed negative due to the numerous complaints presented to the captain, Clinton said.
The ship was also running too many types of a specific movie style in a row,” Clinton said, listing “slasher,” “drama,” and “comedies” as repeat offenders. Now, they are making more of an effort to rotate all of the genres throughout the day and have switched from an eight-hour to a 12-hour movie rotation, he said.
“It is not an exact science, but we try to make sure that all genres are represented,” Clinton said.
Sailors can also request movies on the ship’s intranet from a listing of more than 700 movies. Requests are usually honored in 72 hours, Clinton said.
The ship has seven channels to choose from, including three movie channels, one ship-specific training channel and satellite channels from American Forces Network featuring sports, news and entertainment.