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'DAMNED IN THE USA' MAY 14 PREMIERE ON PLAYBOY TV TO BE FOLLOWED BY FIRST AMENDMENT ROUNDTABLE

 Film's Co-Producer to Shoot Panel
 Which Includes Former NEA Chairman Frohnmayer
 BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The national cable network, Playboy TV, will host a special roundtable discussion titled "Violence and Morality: Obscenity, Hate Speech and the First Amendment," to be broadcast at the conclusion of its U.S. television premiere of the controversial documentary film, "Damned In The USA," on May 14.
 Produced by "Damned In The USA"'s co-producer Jonathan Stack, the discussion will be moderated by Courtroom Television Network's Cynthia McFadden and include:
 John Frohnmayer, former chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA), which was at the center of the storm in 1991, when the film was produced; Martin Garbus, an attorney and First Amendment absolutist; Bruce Herschensohn, political commentator for KABC television and radio in Los Angeles and one-time director of Motion Picture and Television Service for the United States Information Agency (USIA); Sheila Kuehl, a noted feminist and activist from the California Women's Law Center who supports limits on free speech to protect what she considers victims of pornography and punish the perpetrators of hate speech; David Llewellyn, founder and president of a group which believes that there are moral standards which should regulate public and private life; and Carol Sobel, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
 Produced and directed by Paul Yule, and co-produced by Stack for the British government's Channel Four network, "Damned in the USA" presents a look at censorship and the religious right in modern-day America. This fast-paced documentary tackles everything from the tactics of Rev. Donald Wildmon (whose lawsuit trying to stop United States distribution of the film held up its release for almost a year), to the controversy surrounding the NEA funding of the arts, Robert Mapplethorpe's photographs, Andres Serrano's notorious "Piss Christ" and the rap lyrics of 2 Live Crew.
 "Playboy has a 40-year history of supporting First Amendment rights and we're proud to follow up this controversial film with lively debate and stimulating discussion by an impressive group of individuals representing a number of opposing viewpoints," stated Richard Bencivengo, senior vice president, Programming and Production at Playboy Entertainment Group. "We hope that our showing will prompt other broadcasters to consider airing this important film."
 Stack commented that, "We approached a number of national broadcast outlets regarding the showing of this film and none were willing to air it. I think it's ironic that mainstream media is so willing to show images of violence, but when it comes to sexuality, they become frightened. As a frontier for intellectual freedom, Playboy was the first to provide us with a venue for our film. I am especially pleased that they were willing to work with us to present a challenging discussion that we hope will provide a focus for today's key First Amendment issues."
 "Damned In the USA" features incisive interviews with individuals from both sides of the issue including Wildmon of the American Family Association, Playboy chairman and chief executive officer Christie Hefner, Joe Reilly, president of Morality in Media and Dennis Barrie, the curator of the Cincinnati Art Museum who was indicted in a controversy surrounding an exhibit of Mapplethorpe's photographs.
 "Damned in the USA" premieres May 14, at 10 p.m. Eastern/Pacific with repeated airings on May 16, 19, 30. Playboy TV is available as a pay-per-night or pay-per-month option on cable systems nationwide.
 -0- 5/5/93
 /CONTACT: Jim Nagle of Playboy, 310-246-4000/


CO: Playboy TV ST: California IN: ENT SU:

BP-JB -- LA039 -- 5093 05/05/93 17:40 EDT
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Date:May 5, 1993
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