The FCC takes the use of their Emergency Alert System very seriously, to the point that they proposed today to fine Viacom, Walt Disney Pictures, Comcast, and Time Warner $2 million for improper use of the harsh “EEEEEE EEEE EEEEEE BOOOOOOOP” tones used before emergency broadcasts about natural disasters and severe weather.
The offending party: the trailer for last year’s bad movie Olympus Has Fallen, whose plot revolves around a terrorist attack of the White House and Gerard Butler’s attempts to protect Morgan Freeman. (Guess who plays the President? It’s tricky!)
According to the Wall Street Journal, “the commercial in question uses sounds similar to those use by the Emergency Alert System, running afoul of FCC rules against airing the tones outside of an actual emergency or test of the system.” The commercial also shows the phrases “THIS IS NOT A DRILL” and “THIS IS NOT A TEST,” and the FCC says they received hundreds of consumer complaints who freaked out upon seeing the ad, even when Morgan Freeman stepped in.
Below, the ad. This is not a drill. This is not a test. But this is a movie that has a 48% Fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes, so it’s definitely a natural disaster.
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org