LONDON (October 20, 1994) - FP president Robert Metz was one of four guests invited by Radio Western's CHRW (94.7 FM) to debate the subjects of music censorship, violence in entertainment, and broadcast- ing restrictions on its Talk Radio show. The on-air debate focused around Much Music's decision to slot the band SFH's music video, Morning Suicide, into its "Too Much For Much" segment, as opposed to mixing the video into its regular rotational programming where it would be viewed by a wider audience.
Much Music's decision was too much for SFH's lead singer, Bob Reed, who appeared on the program accusing the network of exercising censorship and of not being straightforward with him in justifying its decision. He argued that his band had done everything possible to meet all of Much Music's standards before submitting its video to the network, only to have it rejected because of its theme: suicide.
Much Music's Manager of Communications, Sarah Crawford, insisted that the decision was Much Music's to make and that censorship had nothing to do with it. She was supported by Rose Dyson, chairperson of Canadians Concerned About Violence in Entertainment, who expressed her fear that SFH's video could trigger suicide in certain individuals.
Given Crawford's assurance that Much Music was simply exercising its own choice and mandate in rejecting the band's video for regular programming, it was initially difficult for anyone to argue a case for or against censorship. However, the moment Metz asked Crawford whether Much Music's decision would have been the same had there not been CRTC regulations influencing its choice, it became clear that censorship was the issue.
Crawford made it clear that discussing CRTC regulations was a "very sensitive issue" for broadcasters, but would not speculate on the possibility of changing its decision, had it not been for the CRTC. She pointed out that while Much Music had played videos about suicide in the past, the "message" of Morning Suicide was "ambiguous" and therefore was regarded as unsuitable for regular programming.
last updated on April 28, 2002