High-Flying Filth

By: Dan Wooding; ©2001
Have you ever been disturbed by the “edited” movies shown on airlines? How do they get away with it? Can anything be done about it? Dan Wooding explores these issues in an interview with Dr. Ted Baehr.


High-Flying Filth

Dr. Ted Baehr, the internationally renowned Christian expert on the entertainment media, has called on airlines to cut the high-flying filth from their in-flight entertainment—for the sake of the children passengers.

“I am calling on the airlines to be more responsible, to observe the ratings and to re­member that children are watching these barely edited R-rated films that they are showing on their flights,” said Dr. Baehr, founder and chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission and MOVIEGUIDE(R), a family magazine, radio program and TV show which reviews all movies from a biblical perspective.

“I believe they should be showing only broad audience family movies as long as there are children under 13 or under 17 on the flight, because parents don’t want their children to see what’s being shown now.

“Children are very susceptible to the crudity and the misbehavior that is so intense in some of the R-rated films which purportedly are edited for the airlines. And, there have been tons of studies on the negative effects of media violence, but much of the violence is never edited out of these films at all. The airlines have to hold to a standard that respects their audiences. The problem is they are doing well right now, so they feel they don’t have to worry about their audience. That’s why they are serving up so much filth.”

Dr. Baehr believes that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Congress and other government leaders can legally tell the airlines, in no uncertain terms, that this is a situation that needs to be changed immediately.

He went on, “I have two children who have to travel cross country to school and one of them was flying back and forth as he was going to boarding school when he was 14. He would come back and say that there were movies on the airlines that he couldn’t see at home and didn’t want to see even without the sound in the confines of the airlines.

“When I’ve regularly complained about the fare of sex and violence they are showing, all they say is ‘The businessmen don’t watch family movies and so we put on these normal R-rated movies.’ My response is that the children are strapped in their seats and should not be forced to watch these kinds of movies.

“Their business fliers may be the most lucrative group of passengers, but the airlines also need to be responsible and provide conscientious service to people, and they are not serving the public when they are showing R-rated movies.

“People often ask me whether airline versions of movies should be released in video stores. However, people should note that airline versions are being edited less and less.”

Dr. Baehr said that his campaign to clean up airline entertainment started when he was on a flight and he looked up from his work and saw on the screen that a woman with her breasts bared was lying on top of a man having intercourse.

“I talked to the stewardess and to other staff people on the flight and also wrote a letter to the company, but got no real satisfaction,” he said. “I ride the airlines all the time, and I constantly send in letters about these R-rated films and they constantly send back eva­sions, so I have started sending these letters on to the FTC.

He urged people who are offended by R-rated movies on flights to complain to the airline, the FTC and send a copy of their complaint to him at MOVIEGUIDE(R).


I personally experienced what Dr. Baehr has talked about on recent Virgin Atlantic flights from Los Angeles to London and on the return trip. The entertainment was almost all R-rated and much of it was extremely bizarre. It was disappointing that such a fine airline should serve up such raunchy entertainment.

Parent’s Note: If you want to train your own family to be media-wise, call 1-800-899­6684 in North America, to order the, book, video or audio version of The Media-Wise Family, Dr. Ted Baehr’s latest teaching guide. Also, MOVIEGUIDE(R) now offers an online subscription to its magazine version, at MOVIEGUIDE. The magazine, which comes out 25 times a year, contains many articles and reviews that can help parents train their children to be media-wise consumers. MOVIEGUIDE(R) also regularly broad­casts several international TV and radio programs hosted by Dr. Baehr.

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