Congressmen propose G-rated airline seating
New bill would shield kids from violent movies on planes, create kid-friendly zones.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Prompted by parents' complaints about sex and violence in inflight movies, two congressmen introduced legislation Tuesday calling for airlines to create kid-friendly zones on planes.
"The airlines have chosen to put our children in a situation that I don't feel comfortable with," said Rep. Heath Shuler, a North Carolina Democrat.
He and Republican Rep. Walter Jones, also from North Carolina, call their proposal the Family-Friendly Flights Act.
"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.
The bill calls for the creation of sections on commercial flights where there would not be any publicly viewable movie screens. It would still allow airlines to show the movies they choose on big screens in other sections, or on individual seatback screens.
"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?" Shuler said.
One of the parents who complained to Shuler was Katie Kelley, who said she was on a plane last February when an R-rated movie with "a lot of nudity" was shown. She said she was traveling without her children, ages 4 and 7, but was still bothered by the situation.
She said she was not satisfied with the airline's response to her complaint, even though she was told the movie should have not been shown as it was.
"My point was that children can't make that decision if they're on an airplane and the scenes are before them," she said. "They are naturally drawn to the screen."
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.
Kalisher said he got involved after "King Kong" was shown on a flight, though his own two youngsters were sleeping at the time.