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Press Release

October 12, 2006

PTC Condemns Prime Time Obscenities

PTC Calls on FCC to Impose Stiff Fines Over Scripted Profanities Which Aired as Early as 7 pm


LOS ANGELES (October 12, 2006) – The Parents Television Council™ filed complaints with the Federal Communications Commission over two instances of illegal obscenities that were intentionally scripted into two prime time television series.


New broadcast channel My Network TV scripted the "s-word" into the September 21st broadcast of the prime time soap, Desire.  The incident occurred during the 8:00 pm hour on the East and West coasts and during the 7:00 pm hour in the Central and Mountain Time Zones, and, even worse, the word in question aired during the opening sequences of the program.

And just last week, NBC scripted the word ‘t*ts' into the October 5th broadcast of ER, which airs at 9:00 pm in the Central and Mountain Time Zones.


"The broadcast networks are now intentionally scripting illegal obscenities into prime time television series, and they are doing it to be openly defiant of the law.  Both programs aired during times when children were certain to be in the viewing audience.  Both programs used words the FCC has found to be indecent in previous rulings; rulings that have been upheld by the United States Supreme Court.  The networks are deliberately breaking the indecency law," said Tim Winter, executive director of the PTC.


"No doubt the networks will lean on a technology crutch to absolve themselves of any responsibility. But the v-chip would not have prevented a child from hearing either of these obscenities.  Desire was rated TV-14, with no ‘L' descriptor to warn viewers of the offensive language.  ER was rated TV-14 also with no ‘L' descriptor.  Even if used properly in every home in America, the v-chip would not have prevented the transmission of these programs into the living rooms of millions of unsuspecting families.


"Language descriptors aside, how many families in America would deem words like ‘sh*t' and ‘t*t' to be appropriate for their 14-year old children?  Perhaps some of the programming executives at those two networks would, but most families would not.

"We urge the FCC to use its newly authorized financial penalties granted by Congress and signed by the President to the fullest extent.  This complete and utter disregard for the law will not be tolerated," Winter said.


Click here to file a complaint with the FCC about these broadcasts.


To schedule an interview with a PTC representative, please contact Kelly Oliver at (703) 683-5004, ext. 140.

The Parents Television Council™ (www.parentstv.org®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has over one million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.




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