Starz Offers Anti-Stereotyping PSAs


Starz Encore Group LLC unveiled two new public-service announcements
discouraging Arab and Muslim stereotyping Thursday.

The 30-second spots will be carried by the top six MSOs and DirecTV Inc.,
Starz Encore CEO John Sie said at a press conference that also featured energy
secretary Spencer Abraham and transportation secretary Norman Mineta.

'Lashing out at our fellow Americans just because they may look like the
evildoers violates the very freedom we value in America,' Sie said.

The spots will reach 71 million unduplicated households, or 84 percent of all
U.S. multichannel subscribers, Sie said.

Starz Encore will begin running the PSAs Sunday between every movie that runs
on its 13 channels, he added.

Patriotic movie trailers produced by the entertainment industry will also
soon begin running in theaters, Motion Picture Association of America CEO Jack
Valenti noted. PSAs featuring former heavyweight champion Mohammad Ali will also
be distributed internationally in several languages, including Pakistani, Arabic
and Farsi, Valenti added.

Valenti brushed aside a question regarding Arab stereotypes that Hollywood
has portrayed in movies.

'In Hollywood, we're equal-opportunity prejudiced because we have stereotyped
Italian Americans -- and I'm in that group -- Polish Americans, Jewish
Americans, FBI, CIA, businessmen, just about every known ethnic and business
community in the country.'

He added, 'There's nothing deliberate about it. When you have a movie, the
essence of a story is conflict -- good and evil, the bad and good. So there has
to be a villain every now and then, and it's getting to where now I think the
only people you can use as villains are corporation executives because they're
not organized to fight back.'

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association plans to help inform
its membership of the availability of the PSAs. One spot was produced by Starz
Encore and the second by ad agency Brokaw Inc.

Starz Encore said it will uplink the spots free-of-charge via three separate
15-minute satellite feeds on Dec. 21 and 27 and Jan. 3, at 3 p.m. The feeds are
available on the Galaxy 11 satellite, transponder C08.