Mixed review for SCOTUS from creatives on indecency


The Center for Creative Voices in Media applauded the Supreme Court decision finding for Fox and ABC in their indecency case v. the FCC. However, it expressed disappointment that the Court ducked comment on the underlying issues.

CCVM’s Jonathan Rintels said that the Court got it right when it ruled that the FCC issued its findings without adequately warning broadcasters that it had changed its enforcement policies.
Rintels said, “We regret, however, that the Court declined to overturn the Commission’s indecency policy as an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment, which it certainly is. As a result of the Court’s actions, creative media artists now likely face many more years of uncertainty as to what precisely is or is not “indecent” under FCC policy, and whether that policy is consistent with the First Amendment.”

He concluded, “The FCC’s excessively broad, incomprehensibly ambiguous, and utterly subjective indecency policy has put creative, challenging, and controversial broadcast television programming at risk. In many cases, the very kinds of television programs that parents want their children to watch – high quality documentaries, histories, and dramas – are affected.”

RBR-TVBR observation: We couldn’t have put it any better ourselves. It will be interesting to see if the FCC tries to tweak its rules, or come up with some truly simple bright line rules (probably an impossibility) or just bull ahead with the existing rules as some like PTC have recommended. What is for sure is that the Supremes have guaranteed that this issue is far from resolved, just as Rintels observed.