ACTRA protests skewed, all-American "Canadian TV"

    TORONTO, June 6 /CNW/ - CTV and Global threw themselves some parties this
week to celebrate spending hundreds of millions of Canadian dollars to stuff
Canada's primetime television with American dramas. And hundreds of Canadian
actors and other industry workers were out on the sidewalk protesting.
    "These private shindigs the broadcasters threw for themselves are
disgraceful. And so was their latest junket to Hollywood to sell out their
country's broadcasting system," said Richard Hardacre, National President of
    ACTRA members and others rallied in front of Massey Hall this morning as
Global Television followed up CTV's party Monday. Both networks are
celebrating their foreign programming purchases. Last year, private
broadcasters spent over $470 million on foreign drama and less than
$70 million on Canadian programs.
    "These shameless self-serving parties clearly demonstrate that the
networks don't care about their own country's culture and can't be trusted to
do anything with their licences other than rebroadcast someone else's work,"
said Stephen Waddell. "It's time for the CRTC to live up to its regulatory
role, since the broadcasters don't have the slightest intention to live up to
theirs," added Waddell.
    Canada's private broadcasters were let off the hook when Canadian drama
content regulations were watered down by the CRTC in its disastrous 1999 TV
Policy decision. The result is Canadian network primetime schedules dominated
by U.S. shows. ACTRA demands that the CRTC reinstate drama content regulations
on the private broadcasters before Canadian culture completely fades to black.

    ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the
national organization of professional performers working in the
English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of
21,000 members across Canada - the foundation of Canada's highly acclaimed
professional performing community.

For further information:

For further information: Susan Ponting, Public Relations Officer, ACTRA
National, Direct line: (416) 644-1519,

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