Degrassi episode causes stir in U.S.
CP 2004-07-20 01:57:00
TORONTO — A U.S. cable channel has decided to postpone a two-part episode of the Canadian-made series Degrassi: The Next Generation because of its controversial plot about teen pregnancy and abortion. As a result, the outlet, the MTV-owned N Channel, has been the recipient of a 6,000-signature petition and even the attention of the New York Times.
The petition called the channel “unjust and asinine” and argued fans deserve to view all episodes of Degrassi unedited.
“This episode does not contain any forceful opinions regarding this subject,” the petition says. “You are dismissing a substantial part of this season’s plot.”
In the two-part third-season episode, titled Accidents Will Happen, the character Manny, played by Cassie Steele, learns she is pregnant and must make a decision on whether to carry the baby to term or have an abortion.
Without guilt, she opts for the latter in a story arc that already aired in Canada in January.
Degrassi creator/producer Linda Schuyler said yesterday that N hasn’t yet scrubbed the episodes for all time and that it’s not the first time it has delayed storylines of the popular series.
In season 1, a character used ecstasy and N officials made cuts and had one of the cast members go to the U.S. and film an explanation of the premise. A season 2 episode on date rape also gave N cause for concern.