PTC says broadcast nudity is on the upswing


F-bombAccording to the Parents Television Council, broadcasters are increasingly showing full-frontal nudity in which certain key private parts are blurred. In a letter to members of Congress, the organization says broadcasters are actively trying to “…completely obliterate any remaining television taboos.”

PTC says things have only gotten worse since the 2006 passage of the Broadcast Decency Act.
“Contrary to what executives from NBC, ABC, and CBS told you in 2004 and 2005, and contrary to what attorneys for the networks recently argued before the Supreme Court, they are not acting in the public interest; they are aggressively pursuing a dangerous agenda to completely obliterate any remaining television taboos,” said the PTC in its letter to legislators.

“During prime time hours across all broadcast networks, use of the bleeped or muted f-word increased from 11 instances in 2005 to 276 instances in 2010 – an increase of 2,409%… It’s not just the language that’s getting coarser. PTC research has found a staggering increase in the frequency and explicitness of pixelated nudity on the broadcast networks during primetime hours.

“The networks have made it abundantly clear they have no intention of respecting either the broadcast licenses they’ve been granted or the public in whose interest they are licensed to serve.  Therefore the American people, whose values are being assaulted on a nightly basis, must insist that the Federal Communications Commission vigorously enforce broadcast decency laws, as mandated by the Congress and affirmed by the Supreme Court.

“We call on you to give the FCC your full support for decency enforcement; to urge the FCC to move forward with all due haste in clearing the backlog of 1.6 million unadjudicated indecency complaints; and to give the FCC the tools it needs to ensure enforcement actions are meaningful and appropriate… Because Our Children Are Watching.”

RBR-TVBR observation: Despite loud alarms from PTC, the quarterly reports on complaints published by the FCC show no major spikes in consumer complaints regarding indecent broadcast content.

At some point we have to suspect that:

a) Broadcasters are operating within the boundaries of what the public will accept. It is the broadcaster’s job to amass a big enough audience to make it worth the while of advertisers to imbed their messages in broadcast programming. Broadcasters would not go out of their way to alienate viewers, nor would advertisers risk a backfire by being linked to programming the general public finds out of bounds; and

b) For citizens who do object to content on certain programs, they can turn to hundreds of options on other channels.

In the end, free speech will reign supreme. No legislation or body of regulation can possibly be written that will be immune to the vast resources of the creative community. We firmly believe that PTC can keep on trying, as is its right, but it cannot win.