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Press Release

January 15, 2008

PTC Demands Swift Action over “F-word” on ABC’s Morning Show


LOS ANGELES (January 15, 2007) – The Parents Television Council™ chastised ABC for allowing the “F-word” to air unedited during Good Morning America today.  Actress Diane Keaton used the expletive during her interview with Diane Sawyer during the 8:00 a.m. hour in the Eastern time zone. The PTC is calling on its members to file indecency complaints with the FCC regarding this inappropriate and offensive broadcast.  The ABC incident was the second recent airing of explicit content on a so-called news program, coming on the heels of an episode of 60 Minutes featuring a music video in which several people raise their middle fingers while singing “[Bleeped f-word] the feds.”  That episode aired on CBS on December 30 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern/Pacific and 6:00 p.m. Central/Mountain time.


“There is no excuse for the ‘f-word’ and the middle finger cropping up on news shows in front of millions of parents, families and children.  The networks have made weak apologies time and time again for incidents like this, but they steadfastly refuse to take any action to prevent a recurrence.  Diane Keaton’s ‘f-word’ on national television and the lack of remorse by ABC that accompanied it cannot go unnoticed.  In fact both Ms. Keaton and Ms. Sawyer appeared to be amused by the profanity, making no sincere effort to apologize to the viewers whom they sucker-punched,” said PTC President Tim Winter.


“Thanks to the inexplicable decision of two judges in New York City, the issue of so-called ‘fleeting’ profanity remains unresolved at the FCC.  These instances are blatant reminders of why the Supreme Court must grant review of this case and overturn the ridiculous New York court ruling.  It’s also time for Congress to consider the existing and languishing legislation, sponsored by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), that would address the problem.


“In the case of 60 Minutes, CBS seems to be intentionally directing its own middle finger at the law and at families across the country.  It is clear that this gesture was deliberately included in the broadcast along with excessive partially-bleeped ‘f-words.’  Someone at CBS had to affirmatively edit that material into the program.  This kind of broadcast content, especially when it airs under the auspices of a ‘news program,’ is deplorable.


“The PTC is calling on its members and the general public to respond by filing indecency complaints with the FCC.  The PTC also calls on all sponsors who were caught off guard by this inappropriate content to contact the networks directly and demand their advertising dollars be refunded.  The advertisers, like the viewers, were blind-sided and had no intention of sponsoring such material,” concluded Winter.


TAKE ACTION! If you live in the Eastern Time Zone, file a formal complaint with the FCC.


To schedule an interview with a PTC representative, please contact Kelly Oliver (ext. 140) or Megan Franko (ext. 148) at (703) 683-5004.

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 more than 1.3 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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