Broadcasting giant Sky was caught with egg on its face today after an attempt to avoid offending movie watchers while war rages in the Balkans went pear shaped.
Sky had planned to show the innocuously titled political movie Wag the Dog on its Sky Box Office channel this month, but decided to pull the film because of similarities between the fictional events in the film and the very real crisis in Europe.
However, viewers were astonished this week when they heard of the supposedly more sensitive choice of movie made by Sky.
"Due to events in Kosovo and Albania, the film Wag the Dog scheduled for 5 to 11 May will now not be shown. Mortal Kombat: Annihilation will be shown instead," a recorded message told callers to Cable & Wireless' cable TV customer line.
A spokesman for Sky Box Office said that despite the violent connotations of the replacement film's title, it is only 15 certificate and based on fantasy.
"When you get to the nitty gritty is certainly is not that contentious," he claimed.
"You have horror, shock fights all the time. This is not echoing any particular crisis that we're aware of," he added.
In Wag the Dog, a US president makes a desperate attempt at winning an election by declaring war on Albania. Some pundits have already jokingly compared this to the situation in Kosovo.
A spokesman for Cable & Wireless said Sky is responsible for all editorial decisions about programming.
Sky said the film was chosen because it is made by Newline, the same company that produced Wag the Dog, and by replacing one film with the other they would not interrupt Newline's revenue stream.
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