By John-Henry Westen
IRONDALE, AL, April 3, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Two days ago, LifeSiteNews was forwarded aÂfirestorm of emails from faithful Catholics in Canada regarding the world’s largest Catholic media network – Eternal Word Television Network – not airingÂprogramsÂon homosexuality in Canada and Europe.Â The emailsÂreferred to an exchange between a Canadian viewer of the network and a producer at the network.
In response to questioning about a show on homosexuality not being aired in Canada, as was scheduled and aired in the United States, Amalia C. Zea, the producer of the popular program Life on the Rock responded, “I apologize that you didn’t get the show that you were expecting.Â Due to the new hate crimes regulations in Europe and Canada, it is against the law for us to air shows whose main topic deal with same sex attraction.”Â
The missing show in question was the March 2nd airing of Life on the Rock which featured Stephen Bennett, a former homosexual whoÂis now happily married with children.Â The theme of the program was “Homosexuality to Heterosexuality Happens.”
The program was not the first EWTN program dealing with homosexuality pulled from Canadian and European audiences.Â Another Life on the Rock episode, which aired December 15, 2005 was also yanked from EWTN’s Canadian and European feeds.
LifeSiteNews.com contacted EWTN for more information.Â Scott Hults, Vice President, Communications at EWTN first told LifeSiteNews.com that Zea is a “junior producer” and as such she was mistaken.Â The network, he said, was just being “cautious”.Â
He said, “We were sensitive to the issues in Canada . . . the market is very important to us.”Â He added, “We worked very hard to be part of the cable television and satellite community in Canada . . . The decision was we’d produce a Canadian feed, and because of that we also have to be sensitive to what you guys want, what you expect, what you are looking for.Â We do different programming for you, we’re sensitive to your needs and we respond when appropriate to what you want us to do.Â Everybody seems to be very happy with us.”
He assured LifeSiteNews.com that the programs in question will air in Canada, and the reasonÂit did not was that the network was concerned that the program was aired live, without the opportunity to bleep out any material that may have been sensitive. The airing of the programs, he said was “delayed” in case participants said something live that “would blow your minds there.”Â
When asked if Canadian government officials had warned EWTN not to broadcast such material in Canada due to our hate crime laws, Hults, after consulting with executives replied in the negative.Â Asked whether other programming dealing with controversial subjects such as abortion or euthanasia would also be subject to “cautious” delay or censorship, Hults again said no.
Hults explained that the reason for the “cautious” approach was a complaint against an episode of EWTN’s Life on the Rock Program dealing with homosexuality filed in the UK in September 2005.Â EWTN successfully defended the case but that experience has made them “cautious” on such episodes dealing with homosexuality, he said.
Asked if the station’s foundress Mother Angelica, would have acted in a similar “cautious” fashion, Hults replied, “we don’t know.”
To express concerns email:
EWTN Television Viewer Response Department
Some previous LifeSiteNews stories on EWTN:
Catholic Network EWTN’s Explosive Growth in Canada
The Legacy of Mother Angelica
EWTN FINALLY PERMITTED IN CANADA