If you’ve already bought your kids a videotape of Christmas in Connecticut, the 1992 made-for-TV movie directed by Arnold Schwarz-enegger, you may be giving them an unwanted surprise. Much to the embarrassment of Turner Home Entertainment, and the chagrin of Schwarzenegger, the movie (rated ”F” as in family by the Film Advisory Board) is preceded by a trailer for the TV movie Casanova containing some strictly adult moments: two flashes of bare breasts as Casanova cavorts with a mistress. The sequences reportedly went unnoticed for weeks, even by the video label.
”It’s really no big deal,” claims Turner executive vice president Steve Chamberlain, tap dancing as fast as he can about the 25,000 copies shipped to stores last month. Although Turner didn’t recall the tapes, Chamberlain says, ”We immediately put into effect an 800 number (so retailers can exchange the tapes for copies without the trailer, if they choose).” As of last week, retailers had swapped some 5,700 tapes — 23 percent of those in circulation.
However, Dorothy Swanson, president of the watchdog group Viewers for Quality Television, doesn’t think those measures are enough. ”I’m not saying the morality of our kids is at stake, because I don’t think that’s true,” says Swanson, ”but I’d appreciate knowing the scene is there so I can fast-forward. I would expect a poster or a notice — some kind of public awareness campaign.”
Schwarzenegger, meanwhile, couldn’t be reached for comment, while his publicist, Charlotte Parker says, ”We weren’t aware of the situation. But from what we understand, Turner is doing everything they can to correct it.” To date, Turner’s only corrective measure has been the toll-free phone number for retailers. So, better unwrap that video gift, or risk seeing more unwrapped than you’d planned.