The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Stars ration TV for kids

Berlin, Sept. 26 (Reuters): Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg, two of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities, said today they strictly limit how much television their children watch and emphasise reading rather than viewing.

“My kids, I really don’t like them to watch that much television,” Cruise said during a visit to Berlin to promote the film Minority Report.“We’re focusing on reading, a lot of reading.”

“They are allowed about three-and-a-half hours of television per week — if they do very well in their school,” he said. “I really don’t like them using computers.”

“I can actually see the difference when they watch too much television in terms of their education than when they’re reading, in terms of their attention span, their behaviour,” he said.

Spielberg, who directed Cruise in Minority Report and spoke at a joint news conference ahead of its Berlin premiere, is a twice as permissive as Cruise when it comes to television.

“My kids are allowed to watch TV one-hour-a-day — if their homework is done,” he said.

“They can’t come home from school and watch TV,” he said. “They have to do their homework, do their chores, finish dinner, get into their cosy clothes, as we call it, after they take their bath, and after they are in their cosy clothes, they get to watch TV for an hour.”

Spielberg, whose films Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List chronicled dark episodes of World War II, said he also keeps his children away from contemporary television news.

“I don’t let them watch the news because the news is much more uncensored than it was when I was growing up and things are so frightening right now that I like the news to come from me,” he said.

At the news conference, Cruise said he still keeps alive his second boyhood dream, aside from films, of being an astronaut. The actor said he recently visited a Nasa facility and simulated the weightlessness of space in a swimming pool.

“I spend some time with Nasa,” he said.“I’ve just been helping them in various ways, conversations. I am a pilot, I fly aerobatic airplanes.”

Cruise also referred to the first space tourists, said to have paid about $20 million each for the rare joy of orbiting around the earth on the International Space Station.

“I’d like to do it, I don’t want to pay $24 million,” he said when asked if he really wanted to go into space.“I’d rather be invited to go.”

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