US stations set to stop airing Arnie's films on TV

LOS ANGELES: Arnold "Terminator" Schwarzenegger's decision to run for the post of California Governor could see local television channels in the state pulling the plug on his films temporarily.

This is because US election rules demand equal air time for all candidates on local TV. If the likes of Terminator and Total Recall are aired then the other candidates could also demand that the station in question give them more time.

The Federal Communications Commission rules apply to the 56-year-old star's films. A BBC news report states that the rules aim at keeping the campaign process fair to all candidates. The four major US broadcasters NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox do not plan to show any of the actor's films during the campaigning period.

The problem is not new. In 1973, actor George Takei, who played Mr Sulu in Star Trek, had problems when he was running for Los Angeles City Council. An episode of the science fiction series was shown - featuring 17 minutes of Takei on screen. As a result the other candidates successfully demanded equal airtime.

Elections for a new California governor to recall incumbent Gray Davis have been set for 7 October. Davis came under fire for his inability to handle the state's budget deficit and its crippling energy shortages. Schwarzenegger himself is said to be keen that his films are not screened as it would remind the voter of his macho image at a time when he is trying to come across as a serious person.

Meanwhile the FCC rule also requires that broadcasters and radio stations offer candidates their lowest advertising rates.

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