Video: Kid-friendly zone on airlines proposed

updated 9/27/2007 3:04:06 PM ET 2007-09-27T19:04:06

It's a good thing Katie Kelley's kids weren't on the plane last February when an R-rated movie was shown.

"There was a lot of nudity," said Kelley, who was traveling without her children, ages 4 and 7.

Kelley complained to the airline after the flight from Atlanta to San Francisco. Weeks later, she said, a response came that said the flight had accidentally shown an unedited version of the movie and those questionable scenes should not have been left in.

But Kelley wasn't satisfied.

"The response I was getting from the airline really wasn't answering my questions," said Kelley, who lives in Arden, near Asheville. "They'd say they always show edited versions in the main cabin. They said they realize it could be offensive to some, but you can choose to watch or not.

"My point was that children can't make that decision if they're on an airplane and the scenes are before them. They are naturally drawn to the screen."

Backing the idea are bipartisan sponsors Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., and Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., who introduced the Family Friendly Flights Act on Tuesday.

The legislation calls for sections on commercial airlines where children sit, would not be exposed to violent movies.

"The airlines have chosen to put our children in a situation that I don't feel comfortable with," said Shuler, one of the people Kelley contacted with her concerns. "How do you tell a 4-, 5-, 6-, 7-, 8-year-old, 'Don't look at the screen,' when it's basically all over the cabin?"

The bill calls for the creation of sections on commercial flights where there would not be any viewable movie screens. It would still allow airlines to continue showing the movies they choose on screens located in other sections, as well as on individual screens, Shuler said.

Many movies are edited for airlines, and they are not governed by the rating system of the Motion Picture Association of America. The content of most movies shown by US Airways would not receive a rating higher than PG-13, said Valerie Wunder, a spokeswoman for the airline.

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"This legislation will be one avenue to help parents take back their right to determine the appropriateness of the content to which their children are exposed," Jones said in a statement.

It's up to the airlines to determine which movies to show, said David Castelveter, spokesman for the Air Transport Association, a trade group.

Jesse Kalisher, a 45-year-old photographer from Chapel Hill, also has lobbied airlines to self-regulate movie content. He says the responses have been few and unsatisfactory.

Kalisher has launched a Web site to generate support for restrictions on airline movies.

Kalisher said he got involved after "King Kong" was shown on a flight during which his two young children were sleeping.

"Parents were trying to protect their children from seeing images that were really gruesome," he said. "The whole thing is completely inappropriate for kids."

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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