KCET Moves Series Over Fears of the FCC

KCET-TV pulled its planned broadcast of Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?, which was to begin airing Sunday, after concerns arose about possible fines from the Federal Communications Commission.

KCET’s Laurel Lambert told FBLA:

The issue of complaints is complicated by the fact that the series was originally fed at 10 p.m., which made it less vulnerable to being subject to possible FCC complaints about language and content. Because we were still in a pledge drive when it was fed, we moved it to 4 p.m.last Sunday, but pulled it when we discovered it was flagged. However, it is now scheduled to air Sat. May 17 (9-11) and Sat. May 24 9-11. Each night we’re airing two parts in order and the flagged episodes are at 10.

The documentary series, which examines the effect of social and economic inequities upon health, contains a barely audible expletive by a girl on a cell phone in the background and a brief beginning of an amputation scene in a segment about rampant diabetes among Native Americans in Arizona.

The FCC hasn’t received any complaints about the series or the content and not every utterance merits an FCC fine.

And of course, pledge breaks are a necessary evil in the world of public television.