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Lawmaker Criticizes ``Schindler's List''
Airing Wednesday, February 26, 1997

WASHINGTON (Reuter) - A Republican member of Congress Tuesday criticized NBC television's showing of the Holocaust movie ``Schindler's List,'' saying its airing during Sunday family time should outrage parents.

Rep. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, was quoted in a release put out by his office as saying the airing of the highly acclaimed film took network television ``to an all-time low, with full frontal nudity, violence and profanity being shown in our homes.''

His criticism brought a response from Sen Alfonse D'Aamto, a New York Republican, who told the Senate Coburn's statement was ``shocking.''

``To equate the nudity of the Holocaust victims in the concentration camp with any sexual connotations is outrageous and offensive,'' D'Amato said.

``I just wonder if Congressman Coburn is aware that there was a Holocaust, that millions of people died and it's not something anybody should ever forget,'' NBC West Coast president Don Olhmeyer was quoted as saying in Variety, an entertainment industry trade paper.

``NBC is extremely proud of its presentation of this unique award-winning film,'' he said. ``We think that Congressman Coburn's statement should send a chill through every intelligent and fair-minded person in America.''

The broadcast was viewed by 65 million people, more than twice the number who saw it in movie threatres.

Coburn, co-chairman of the Congressional Family Caucus, said that while the film was given a rating for mature adult audiences, ``the fact that it aired on public television on a Sunday evening during a family time should outrage parents and decent-minded individuals everywhere.''

He added: ``I cringe when I realize that there were children all across this nation watching this program. They were exposed to the violence of multiple gunshot head wounds, vile language, full frontal nudity and irresponsible sexual activity.

``It simply should not have been allowed on public television.''

Coburn said the airing of the movie demonstrated that the new TV rating system ``only encourages more sex and violence.''

In contrast, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Reed Hundt, addressing the National Association of Broadcasters on Monday, said: ``NBC's uninterrupted broadcast of 'Schindler's List' last night showed us again the power and glory of broadcast TV.''

Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved.

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