TV channel apologizes for airing banned zombie movie

A French-German channel has admitted it made a “regrettable mistake” after broadcasting an uncut version of George Romero’s ‘Day of the Dead’

The Strasbourg-based culture channel Arte has issued an apology after allegedly accidentally broadcasting an uncut version of the 1985 classic horror film ‘Day of the Dead’ by American film director George Romero.

The iconic film about flesh-eating zombies turned out to be too graphic for the German officials’ taste and was banned from being broadcasted by the Federal Agency for the Protection of Children and Youth. However, Arte still aired it on the night of January 28.

On Thursday, the channel called the move a “regrettable mistake” and assured its German audience it was “committed to the standards of youth media protection in France and Germany.” 

The channel, which is aired separately in France and Germany, also blamed the incident on confusing TV broadcast standards in the two nations.

The movie is prohibited under German laws but is allowed in France, it said.

The fact that there are many different versions of the film also did not make the situation any easier for the channel, Arte said.

Arte also added that it “immediately” removed the uncut version of the film from its movie library as soon as it discovered the mistake on Wednesday.

“We very much regret this incident and will examine the matter carefully so that such a mistake is not repeated,” the channel said in a statement. According to a report by Germany’s Der Spiegel weekly, the issue might not be entirely accidental. Prior to the movie’s broadcast, Arte did advertise a “horror film with a cult status” that it had been planning to show “in its uncensored original version.”

It was not the first time Arte showed the horror classic known as ‘Zombie 2: the Last Chapter’ in Germany. When it was first aired by the channel back in 2007, two different versions of the movie were shown in France and Germany.

 Released in 1985, Romero’s ‘Day of the Dead’ had a poor box office reception and claimed its cult status mostly after it was released internationally on VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray. The film has a 83% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as a 75% audience score, making it the lowest-rated film in Romero’s original zombie trilogy. The movie is also known for its shocking gore, which might have prompted the German authorities to ban it.

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