Channel 4 fined for interrupting a movie for commercial break


Channel 4 fined for interrupting a movie for commercial break

Sweden's channel 4 has been fined 50 000 SKR for interrupting movies with commercial breaks.
When channel 4 aired the film Leon in December last year they broke for commercials during the rooftop scene where Leon is teaching Matilda how to sniper shoot. As Matilda aims at the head of an unsuspecting person in the park below, Leon tells her to "shoot now!" but right then the movie was interrupted for 6 minutes of ads.
The adjudicating committee regarded the break in the middle of "heightened drama" of the film to be a clear violation of guidelines in the TV and Radio Law and have proposed that channel 4 pay 50 000 SKR in fines.

In a related case Claes Eriksson and Vilgot Sjöman are currently in court suing the same channel for violating their artistic expression. When Channel 4 showed Sjömans costume drama "Alfred" it was interrupted three times, mixing modern burgers into the old world drama Sjöman had created. Together with Eriksson, director of "Hajen som visste för mycket" (The Shark who knew too much) they filed suit.
The latter film ends with a song "make love not money" and is then abruptly cut short for, you guessed it, a commercial break. Claes Eriksson said "The film has a obvious message, and suddenly it's interrupted to shill stuff, which goes against it."
TV4 bought the airing rights to both films in the year 2000, when it was still against the law to interrupt a movie to show ads. Two years later however, the TV and Radio Law changed making commercial breaks possible. Both directors stand firm, they did not sell the films to the channel during the new law, and they claim they wouldn't have sold the right to the films under the new law as they feel the commercial breaks ruin their films.


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