AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) held is challenging KTTV-TV’s (Fox) refusal to broadcast a :30 second ad in which actress and AIDS activist Sheryl Lee Ralph discusses the importance of condom use and HIV testing. AHF tried to purchase commercial time during the Sunday evening broadcast of FOX’s “Family Guy,” a shown known for its raunchy and racy content.
“The rejection of this quite wholesome and straightforward public health message by the LA FOX affiliate is the height of hypocrisy given the amount of sexual content found in its entertainment program lineup including ‘Family Guy’,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “On any given day or night, Viagra and other erectile dysfunction ads run regularly on FOX—there seems to be no squeamishness about FOX airing shows like ‘Family Guy’ or selling commercial time to promote sex. However, FOX now draws the line when we try to promote condoms as a means toward HIV prevention. We strongly urge FOX to reconsider their misguided censorship of this commercial.”
AHF also submitted the television spot to The Los Angeles Time Warner Cable group to review the spot for the following networks: MSNBC, CNN, MTV, Lifetime, BET and TBS. They approved the spot for airing in any day part on all stations.
The script for AHF’s rejected HIV prevention commercial reads, “Hello, this is Sheryl Lee Ralph. Let’s talk. Let’s talk about …HIV. We have 56,000 new HIV infections every year in our country. Half of these are among African-Americans. That is too many. We don’t like to talk about unsafe sex, but we can’t afford not to. Sisters tell him to MAN UP. Use a condom and get tested together. Visit getfreecondoms.org to find out more.”