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'Like Mike' Could Sell Danger to Kids

July 10, 2002

With all the hoop-la (pun intended) being made about the basketball movie "Like Mike," there was a striking irony that stood out in your article, "NBA and Hollywood Hoping Kids 'Like Mike' Enough to Become Fans" (July 3). The movie's primary scene portrays the young main character gaining extraordinary athletic powers through an extremely dangerous and deadly stunt--climbing a tree (in the rain) and grasping a pair of athletic shoes tangled in an energized power line.

Since it is too late to alter the film, we encourage the producers to do the socially responsible thing by adding a safety message or disclaimer in their advertising, promotional interviews and in the video version of an otherwise entertaining movie.

While we all recognize that "Like Mike" is pure fantasy, we've seen too many copycat instances where bizarre acts in movies have inspired bizarre behavior by impressionable youth, with harmful consequences. Be it a kite, toy or even athletic shoes tangled in power lines, we continue to warn everyone: "Don't be like Mike, stay away from power lines." It's a serious matter of life and death.

Clarence Brown

Vice President, Communications

Southern California Edison

Rosemead

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