Watchdogs fight over alleged X Factor indecency (video)


PTC took time out from its war against NBC’s “Playboy Club” to go after Fox freshman program “X Factor” – going so far as to file an indecency complaint with the FCC over the performance of one of the contestants. TV Watch weighed in on the latest PTC complaint, saying it’s factually inaccurate and is merely a fund-raising ploy.

Performer Geo Godley definitely dropped his trousers during a song-and-dance performance. However, the prime indecent area where the pants had been was obscured throughout by the stylized X that is a symbol of the program. (video below)

On top of the fact that no forbidden body parts appeared on any television screen, and despite the fact that it may have appeared that Godley had exposed himself, reports note that he was in fact wearing a leopard-pattern thong.

Parents Television Council nonetheless says it is filing a formal indecency complaint in reference to the segment. PTC’s Tim Winter said, “The prolonged, previously videotaped footage of a contestant dancing nude on the ‘X Factor’ stage represents a conscious decision by the producers – with the approval of the network’s broadcast standards department – to intentionally air this content in front of millions of families during hours when they knew full well that children would be watching. Families were led to believe the ‘X Factor’ would be family-friendly programming and instead were assaulted by graphic nudity. Perhaps the ‘X’ in ‘X Factor’ stands for the MPAA rating. No wonder PTC Seal of Approval winner and judge Paula Abdul walked out during the performance, apparently becoming physically ill by what happened.”

TV Watch responded to the PTC action, noting that the program in fact had no nudity, contrary to PTC’s assertion. It also noted the program was rated TV-14 D L and would have been blocked on television sets using a V-Chip. TV Watch suggested PTC was simply blowing the incident out of proportion in order to raise funds.

“This incident is just the latest, whether it is overstating its membership or claims against the industry, the PTC increasingly has a credibility problem,” said Jim Dyke, TV Watch Executive Director.  “Our research among parents makes clear that they want to make the decisions about what their children see – not government.”

RBR-TVBR observation: Whether or not this performance was entertainment is a matter of opinion. Whether or not it was indecent is not – the answer is no, it was not indecent.

There was no nudity here, fleeting or otherwise. The decency nannies are perfectly within their rights to imagine what was under the screen element that editors used to obscure the performer, but they cannot hope to win a case based on their imaginings.

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