Tuesday, June 14, 2011

KSL pulling "Playboy Club" from Fall 2011 lineup

CNN.com has a story about KSL pulling "Playboy Club" from their fall show lineup.  KSL serves a predominantly LDS community and is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (otherwise known as the LDS Church).  I went to nbc.com and looked at the show and it looks like garbage TV to me.  It was interesting to read the comments on the CNN.com page.  To sum it up, here is what I saw from the comments:

  • People bashing on the station for choosing not to aire the program.
  • Claims of censorship for not airing the program.
  • Jabs at the LDS faith and beliefs
  • Agitated LDS people attempting to defend their religion and lowering themselves to the level of those doing the bashing
So, let's go through these comment categories one by one.

Slamming the station for not airing the program and claims of censorship:

Let's think about this for a little bit.  According to the wikipedia.com entry on Utah, 60% of the state belongs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  That TV station services the entire state.  The station is a business.  Would you show a TV program that will immediately offend 60% of your audience?  Would you be willing to get emails, phone calls, letters, and threats of boycotts from your audience?  The TV station is a business.  It doesn't want to inflict that kind of pain upon itself.

Part of the mission statement for KSL (which is a part of the Deseret Media Companies) is to champion virtue.  Playboy and the Playboy brand does NOT champion virtue.  The station is also a sponsor of the group "Out in the Light - Women uniting against pornography".  Playboy is a champion of pornography.  The goals of KSL and Playboy are opposing and irreconsileable, so the outcome is clear.

KSL does recognize that 40% of the state that may want to view the show.  There are inactive and probably some "active" LDS that want to view the show.  KSL is trying to find a different station in the state to carry the program.  If they were trying to censor the show, do you think they would go about trying to get another station to carry the program?  I don't think so.  KSL does not carry Saturday Night Live.  Is that censorship?  There is another station that carries SNL, but KSL chooses not to do so.

I remember when I was a kid, the TV show Quark was produced.  The local TV affliate refused to air that program.  They opted to show something else.  Is that censorship?  Or is that using your business smarts when reviewing the program and saying to yourself, "This program isn't going to fly here.  We can't afford to waste time on a loser program.  Let's show something else."  This TV program is like any kind of product that is made.  Car dealers don't have to carry every product the manufacturer sells.  If a particular vehicle is not popular, then it isn't carried by the dealer.  This program is no different than that.  If your viewership is going to tank for that 30 or 60 minutes, you won't get local advertisers who will sponsor the program.  It just doesn't make business sense to air a program that won't be supported.

If you really want to watch the show, I am sure it will be available on a different station.  NBC.com will probably stream it.  It may end up on hulu.com or a part of Hulu Plus.  If it is really popular, you'll even be able to buy it like other popular shows.  You might not be able to see it when it is originally aired, but who cares.  You'll still have access to it someway or some how.  Heck, you can even have your friends that live outside the state tape it for you and send it to you if you're really that interested in it.

Jabs at the LDS faith:

This is summed up in one word:  Bigotry.  It is the same stuff that the Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland did during the time of The Troubles.  Bigotry.  Just because someone has a different belief than you have doesn't mean they are worth less than you are.  It just means their beliefs are different than yours.  You can believe whatever you want to believe.  We may agree.  We may disagree.  But you are no more or less of a person than I am for what you believe in.  We are ALL children of God, regardless of our beliefs.  And I will defend your right to practice your faith.  If you don't defend my faith, then who is going to protect you when your faith is attacked?

Mormons defending the faith:

If you kick a man's faith, you're going to get slammed.  I do not defend or condone the disrespect that the defenders put on the CNN.com comment board.  They should be more respectful and try to use reason and kindness rather than the same kind of vitriol and poison the Mormon bashers use.  People, remember what the Savior said, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;"  (Matthew 5:44).  If we want to be taken seriously as a religion and not despised for what we believe in, we need to show Christ like attributes and attitudes.  If we don't do that, then we aren't any better than the Mormon bashers on the site.  They know that the LDS faithful will read the comments and they will retaliate.  They are baiting you.  Don't take the bait.  Simply state fact and move on.

The future of "Playboy Club"

The "Playboy Club" will probably have the same success as "Brokeback Mountain".  It will be heralded as great cinema.  It may be successful.  But at the end of the day, I doubt that it will be compelling drama.  Maybe I will be wrong.  It will probably have its season and time in the limelight, but in the end, it won't have any more significance on popular TV culture than Quark had on TV culture when I was growing up.