PTC takes Comcast/NBCU to task for nudity clause


The Parents Television Council is making its second pre-emptive strike in recent times, attacking a nudity clause that is said to be part of the contract for talent signing up for an upcoming pilot. It follows last month’s objection to the working title of a prospective Disney/ABC offering.

The prospective program is called “The Playboy Club,” and its coming from 20th Century Fox TV. PTC cites media reports that say actors had to take the “virtually unheard of” step of signing a nudity clause to join the cast.

PTC’s Tim Winter commented, “During last year’s public comment period for the Comcast/NBC merger, the PTC called on the FCC to ‘force Comcast to stipulate that it absolutely will not use the public airwaves to distribute pornographic material…the public interest demands no less.’ NBC now says it will air a pilot with ‘Playboy’ in its name and the production company is requiring performers to sign a nudity clause — something virtually unheard of for broadcast TV. The ink isn’t even dry yet on the company merger and we’re already saying ‘we told you so.’”

Winter said that FCC oversight of the merger was a failure and described the attitude toward the public interest demonstrated by Comcast/NBCU execs “flippant.”

In March, PTC joined the American Family Association and other organizations in objecting to a program in development at ABC Television Network based on the novel “Good Christian Bitches” by Kim Gatlin. However, although that is indeed the name of the novel, there is no evidence that it will be the name of any television program that may be derived from it.

RBR-TVBR observation: The First Amendment is a wonderful thing. Just as it protects the speech of citizens and corporations alike except under certain circumstances, it protects the speech of watchdogs who object to others’ use of speech.

The good news here is that neither government agencies nor the courts can do anything about objections to broadcast speech or other content that hasn’t even happened yet and likely will never happen.

We don’t pay strict attention to what’s in the programming pipeline. So just as it did with “Good Christian Bitches,” PTC brought publicity and directed our attention to a program we otherwise had not heard a thing about. So while many may share PTC’s pre-emptive outrage, there may be many others who now can’t wait to see what all the fuss is about.