‘Shelter From the Storm’ to Have 30-Second Delay

Sep 8, 2005  •  Post A Comment

The live, one-hour all-broadcast network telethon scheduled for Friday to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina will have a 30-second delay, according to the special’s executive producer.

Joel Gallen, who is producing “Shelter From the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast,” said in a telephone press conference Thursday that the delay would be used “purely for the accidental obscenity” and that he didn’t expect any of the talent appearing on the telecast to make statements that were not scripted.

Last Friday during an NBC Universal telecast of “A Concert for Hurricane Relief,” recording artist Kanye West not only went off-script to criticize the media coverage of the aftermath as racist but also suggested President Bush “doesn’t care about black people.” Mr. West’s comments ran on the East Coast, but were removed for the tape-delayed West Coast airing.

Mr. Gallen said he has spoken to Mr. West, who is scheduled to sing on the “Shelter from the Storm” broadcast but is not scheduled to speak.

“He is just performing,” Mr. Gallen said.

Mr. Gallen, who produced the telethon “America: A Tribute to Heroes” in September 2001 in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, said “Shelter from the Storm” will not identify performers or speakers, but will feature some pre-taped video packages.

When given the scenario of what would happen on the West Coast tape delay if there was another incident where a performer spoke out politically, Mr. Gallen deferred to the broadcasters the question of editing.

“That is a network decision,” he said. “The only precautions we have right now are for language.”

Viewers can begin donating Friday at 7 a.m. (ET) through the phone number 1-866-4-AID-NOW or via the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army Web sites.