Thursday, May 17, 2007

Tots tune in to Disney Channel, get hardcore pornography instead

New York Daily News

Some New Jersey tots got an adult education Tuesday when a cable TV giant replaced a Disney cartoon with hardcore pornography.
The Handy Manny cartoon on Playhouse Disney was abruptly interrupted Tuesday morning when Comcast honchos mistakenly aired the porno in sections of New Jersey.

"What are they doing?" a 5-year-old boy asked his parents when an explicit sexual scene showed up on his TV screen.

The boy's father, Paul Dunleavy, was appalled.

"It was two people doing their thing, it was full-on and it was disgusting," said Dunleavy, who asked that his son not be named. "It wasn't something you'd expect to see on Cinemax, never mind Disney."

Disney's Playhouse features animated shows with content geared toward children ages 3 to 6. The boy had turned on the Disney Channel while his mom cleaned another room.

"If you can't feel safe letting kids watch the Disney Channel, what can you do?" asked Dunleavy, a father of three from Middletown, N.J.

"I couldn't believe it. We try to do the right thing to protect our kids from this stuff, and then they broadcast it on children's TV," Dunleavy said.

"My wife was like, Oh, my God.' She was shocked."

Comcast spokesman Fred DeAndrea confirmed the programming error took place, saying the mistake was made by his company, not Disney.

"We had an isolated issue in a local New Jersey facility, we immediately detected the issue and it was corrected promptly," he said in a statement.

"We apologize to any customer who experienced it and continue to investigate the root cause of it."

Comcast chiefs also were investigating why the X-rated action was not screened out by parental controls on TV sets.

Dunleavy, who only had the Disney Channel added to his cable package a couple weeks ago, received an apology directly from Comcast.

But he said, "My son was extremely upset because he thought he'd done something wrong, and we're hoping what he saw doesn't become an issue for him.

"If he asks about it, we'll have to find a way to discuss it with him.

"But I'm speechless. I try to protect my kids from a lot of things, but I wouldn't have thought Disney would become one of them."

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