Groups alarmed by NBC Y2k movie (The American Bankers Association has called...) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


Entertainment Headlines

Wednesday November 10 3:48 AM ET

Groups Alarmed by NBC Y2K Movie

By Michael Schneider

HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - Forget those dire predictions about the so-called Y2K bug. It's ``Y2K'' the movie that has a number of groups running scared into the new year.

NBC has been overloaded with calls from those worried that its two-hour made-for-TV movie ``Y2K,'' set to air Nov. 21, might have a deep impact on the public's fear of Armageddon.

Organizations requesting an advance look at ``Y2K'' include the National Governors' Assn. and the Chicago mayor's office, which wants a private screening of the film. The American Bankers Assn. has called several times to ensure that the movie doesn't show a hysterical run on the banks. The FDA contacted the network to make sure ``Y2K'' doesn't depict lives lost due to malfunctioning medical equipment.

Other concerned groups include Edison Electric, Emergency Preparedness and Goldline, a company that buys and sells gold, silver, platinum and other precious metals.

``I need this film to see how big this will be, whether I need to bring on additional staff,'' said Phillip Monteleone, an account exec at Goldline. ``Will the film provoke another flight to gold and silver?''

``Y2K'' executive producer David Israel calls the concerns ''silly.''

``It's a movie,'' he said. ``My guess is some of the things we say are going to happen might happen, and some we say might won't. It's not like Y2K is a big secret.''

``Y2K'' stars Ken Olin as a millennium bug troubleshooter who saves the day when Jan. 1 hits. The movie depicts a power outage across the Eastern seaboard and a potential nuclear disaster.

``My slogan while making the movie was, 'Paranoia is our most important product,''' Israel said. ``I guess it worked.''

-- Homer beanfang (, November 10, 1999


It's not like Y2K is a big secret? When has NBC last done any Y2K news or assessment? Y2K is the biggest secret around!!!!!!!!

-- Mara (, November 10, 1999.

I didn't see any panic in the streets when Deep Impact or Armageddon were shown. What's the big deal with a Y2K movie? I think we have all grown up a lot since the War of the Worlds play caused havoc.

-- John (, November 10, 1999.

I would like to repeat the Y2KNEWSWIRE argument -- if they claim that violence on TV does not influence viewers, how could they possibly claim otherwise in this case?

-- Brooklyn (, November 10, 1999.

Funny how they're so concerned about a movie that concerns a non- existent problem. Can you say Orson Welles? If Y2k is no problem then the movie is pure fiction, right?

-- haha (, November 10, 1999.

I know this is kind of a contrary view, but actually I think it might lull people into complacency even more: here is the reason--when most people see something on TV, esp movies, it is no longer real to them

The argument that Deep Impact and Armeggedon didn't influence people to panic is simple to figure out--there wasn't REALLY a huge meteor headed for earth when people saw those movies (as someone already preparing for Y2K it did make me prepare even faster than ever, but I certainly was in no panic--never have been.)

Actually, the argument I make in the paragraph just above this one might point to a good argument for why people just MIGHT panic over the Y2K movie--since it IS something that will happen. However, the fact that it has a happy-face ending (so I hear) might neutralize any affects.

Who knows? I guess we'll find out November 21.

I think the American public is pretty hard to predict.

The fact that all these organizations are SO interested in what is in the movie really slams home for me the reason why Y2K, as a subject, has been kept so incredibly quiet this entire year. My gosh, we wouldn't want people to wake up from their modern-world slumber, would we?

-- preparing (, November 10, 1999.

Its simple really, the self serving pricks are afraid of ANYTHING that may disturb their precious spin. "OOOOh!!No that will NEVER do! Lives lost because of Y2K...a run on banks? nopenopenope!!! That will never do at all." Bastards.

-- Billy Boy (, November 10, 1999.

I hope that NBC monitors this site, because I want to say to them that they should not let interest groups censor them or harrass them into censoring themselves on this subject. Even if the movie only helps a few more human beings to think that they perhaps need to prepare for Y2K, it will have done more than these interest groups to help the citizens to do it, whatever NBC's ratings motive might be.

-- Elaine Seavey (, November 10, 1999.

This has been a banner year for Diaper manufacturers. Increased sales and stockpiling especially by the Banking Association. All sizes, pallets stacked to the ceiling. Problem is, they're using more than they can get in ...

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, November 10, 1999.

haha: Even if Y2K is a problem, the movie is still pure fiction. I don't see much of a connection here. Bankers should go back to sleep I guess. If "Waco: Rules of Engagement", a very well made documentary, did not cause panic, "Y2K, The Movie" will be a non- starter.

One of the few predictions I'm willing to stick my neck out on is that, unless and until there are very real, very serious problems that impact large segments of our society, there just isn't going to be any panic. No made for TV movie is going to change that...

-- Arnie Rimmer (, November 10, 1999.

For bankers to worry this much, they must know the reality of compliance, predicted public reaction, the true state of the global financial system. Big, big problems...

-- PJC (, November 10, 1999.

It would add to my paranoia if there weren't any made for TV movies on the subject. The lack of negative news coverage is actually what convinced me that there was something incredibly wrong.

-- steve (, November 10, 1999.

If the outcome were changed, NBC wouldn't be allowed to air it. If the plot ended with 21st century Americans subsisting from agriculture, we wouldn't be seeing this movie.

I suspect that NBC was given the idea and the go-ahead for this movie be people "at-the-very-top." I believe that our country has probably been operating under an emergency rule all of this year, maybe since last November or December. How else could the public perception have been so flawlessly managed?

This movie will work like a simulator.

Think about this for just a moment:

What is the purpose of a simulation?

-- snooze button (, November 10, 1999.

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Go Shopping! Airing on 11/21, I would expect any impact from the movie to show up in the level of retail sales the following (Thanksgiving) weekend. The stores are always jammed then, but people aren't necessarily buying. I think y2k makes XMAS shopping much easier because it provides so many additional ideas (which is usually what slows me down). Retailers of designer socks and candles, sweaters, etc. could legitimately make out on this. Why is this to be discouraged?

Besides, can they really afford for the movie to be pulled at this point? Wouldn't THAT send an incredibly negative message? Looking forward to seeing who the advertisers are! Also curious to see if the movie is followed by a celebrity epilogue speaking directly to the audience, urging prudent behavior. he he

-- Brooks (, November 10, 1999.

RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!! Move to the hills! HOARD FUD and WATER!!!Get a gun to keep the commie bastards away! Hell, get two! Bring your elderly in on New Years' Eve. You just never know. BUT........and jumpin Jehosaphats I mean BUT!!!!!! LEAVE YOUR MONEY IN THE BANK!

Dear FED.........EAT ME!!!!!!!!!

-- Eat Me (, November 10, 1999.

To paraphrase the people we all love to hate: "If it saves just one life, isn't it worth it?" :)

-- James Collins (, November 10, 1999.

I just saw "Saving Private Ryan" on HBO. Not as overwhelming as when I saw it on the big screen but still the most powerful movie I have ever seen. That's as close as I ever want to come to battle. If y2k is 1/100 as bad as what those guys went thru, I will never be "ready".

-- Lars (, November 10, 1999.

I would think the bankers association would be stocking up on Depends not baby diapers. I think the hype on both sides of the movie is intentional just to get more viewers. Good or bad press is still press.

-- morgan (bitbybit@not.not), November 10, 1999.

I don't see the problem. It's just like th movie, "Titanic"...except the order has been reversed.

-- Dave (, November 10, 1999.

So the banksters are having a tiff with Hollywood... I just love it when the whores all fight among themselves!

-- Patrick (, November 10, 1999.

The reason that the bankers are hoarding diapers instead of Depends is simple...... 'Alligator mouth and a hummingbird ass'

Depends won't fit.

-- Lobo (, November 10, 1999.


I gotta agree with you on that one.

-- haha (, November 11, 1999.

This movie has been my biggest worry since I first heard about it. I'm really not that concerned about technical failures during Y2K, it's the prospect of last minute food and bank runs that scare me. THAT's why I've stocked, and it's why I'm gradually emptying my account (another pocketfull of notes today). Y2K has been out of the news for so long that I think this movie - however small a BITR they show - might very well be shocking enough to provoke the reasonable concern that should have been generated FIVE YEARS AGO. Unfortunately, at this stage, now that it's not an abstract problem any more, it will - I really, really fear - generate a panic as well.

They can pack it full of as many disclaimers as they like, but Joe Blow is going to watch it and see all those other Joe Blows fighting over the last tin of catfood and he might - finally, and much too late - think "What if?". If Joe Blow wakes up at that late stage, you'd better forget doing any food shopping for days afterwards. And I fear - I really, really, really fear - that the banks will tremble.

Here's my prediction. They won't pull the film at this stage due to the fear of generating an even worse panic. ("Why didn't they show it? What are they hiding? EAT THE CHILDREN!"). I think it's a mistake, but I reckon it will air. However, it will be savagely edited to remove any reference to doing anything even remotely sensible to prepare themselves. Let's hear it for the Men In Black and their scissor and tape. Slack jawed people will be seen screaming and running in the streets, they'll be shown shoving into petrol station queues and fighting over the last box of cereal on the supermarket shelves (rip, scatter), but yawn, we've seen all that before. You might even see panics around ATM's, but what you WON'T see is the consequences: banks closing their doors, supermarket distribution warehouses being looted. Gold won't even get a mention, it's too remote a concept for Joe Blow. Chad Hero (who will inject an antidote into the Innernet to kill the evil Arab/Russki/Oriental spawned Bug) will be utterly calm and will not even CONSIDER stocking or pulling his money, as only arrogant Russkis, psychotic Arabs and devious Orientals do that sort of anti-Ayemerican thing.

With any luck, Joe will sympathise with Chad Hero, or will simply be too lazy and apathetic to get off his couch and do anything about it. He'll watch the screaming hordes, shrug, and say "Dumb shmucks. Chad Hero said it was going to be OK. Oh, and in real life, some guy in a suit said that too, I think." But how many woken up Joes would it take to empty the supermarkets? 20%? 10%? 5%? I don't know. How many to empty the banks? Ooh, ooh, I know that one: it's less then 5%.

I've mentioned this before, but (in the UK, as far as I know) there is NO SLACK in the food distribution network, especially around Christmas. If there is anything like a sustained panic rush at that late date, there simply isn't the production or distribution capacity to restock the shelves.

If you want to do some real good, then write to NBC and plead with them to pull or heavily edit this movie. Or - as a serious suggestion - I'd rather see it shown on 31-Dec-1999 than 21-Nov-1999, because by then it will be too late for Joe to panic and bring the banks down. And let's face it, if he hasn't been woken up by the real life news by 31-Dec-1999, then *nothing* is going to rouse him from his slumber.

-- Colin MacDonald (, November 11, 1999.

One of the most striking statements by an NBC spokeswoman early on was that there was no need to worry, because General Electric (owner of NBC) would not let this movie go forward if there was going to be a problem. Now is that not part of censorship or manipulation of the director's effort? The control was already there, folks. Someone was ALREADY monitoring this movie. And they are confident it will not cause a problem. But the more hype BEFORE the fact, the better.

And as for the FDA making sure there is no mention of medical malfunction... where does the U.S. Government get off trying to squelch referral to a really important, dangerous issue? Do you recall a previous post here regarding a pain control pump that put out 4 times the correct meds dosage during a y2k test? Federal encroachment is really becoming life threatening when it wants to suppress public reference to a health & safety issue like this -- even in the fiction arena.


-- (normally@ease.notnow), November 11, 1999.

Pulling the movie at this late date would be a bad idea. But there's nothing saying that TPTB wouldn't get with their buds at ABC, CBS, and Fox to encourage some really heavy-duty counter-programming.

"Hi, it's us at Friendly Bank & Trust. Remember that $50 zillion loan that we could call at any time? No problem. Hey, we've produced this neat show we think you should air on the 21st: 'All-Nude Celebrity Mud Wrestling'."

Now WHO would watch something like that? Hmmmmm. I wonder.....

-- I'm Here, I'm There (I'm Everywhere@so.beware), November 11, 1999.

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