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Press Release

April 17, 2008

PTC Calls NBC’s Family Hour Pledge Hypocritical

NBC Believes Expletives, “MILF” and Men Groping Women are Appropriate for Families


LOS ANGELES (April 17, 2008) – Only a week after applauding NBC’s public commitment to family-quality programming during the “Family Hour,” the Parents Television Council™ condemned NBC for its abrupt about-face, as evidenced by a number of recent graphic scenes during Family Hour broadcasts.  The PTC challenged NBC to defend its recent commitment to the Family Hour after it aired episodes of “30 Rock,” which contained bleeped expletives and women removing their bikini tops, and “My Name is Earl,” which featured three scenes depicting a man groping women’s breasts.  Both shows aired during the traditional Family Hour, which is between 8 pm – 9 pm ET/PT, which NBC recently announced it would reserve for families.  The “30 Rock” episode aired on April 10, 2008, and the “My Name is Earl” episode aired on April 3, 2008.


The New York Times described the “30 Rock” content by saying, “The general content of the ‘30 Rock’ episode, however, appears to work against NBC’s positioning of the show in its family hour, the 8 to 9 p.m. block of programming that Mr. Silverman said would consist of shows a family could watch together.”


According to PTC research, the episode of “30 Rock” showed mothers on “MILF” Island competing for the attention of 8th grade boys.  (The term “MILF” is an acronym for “Mothers I’d Like to F***.”)  When the mothers are eliminated from the competition, they must remove their bikini tops and throw them in a fire.  The young boys are shown watching the women dance provocatively.


PTC President Tim Winter responded, “This is NBC’s new standard for family programming?  Using terms like ‘MILF’ and showing men groping women’s breasts?  I guess NBC thinks that if a standard is good, a double-standard must be twice as good.”


“If NBC is going to commit to the Family Hour, then it must truly commit to airing content that the entire family can watch without fear of inappropriate or indecent content.  These scenes were purely gratuitous, intended to titillate and crossed the line of decency.  NBC seems out of touch with what the term ‘Family Hour’ means if the network believes that it can air bleeped expletives and sexual images during the 8 pm hour when millions of children are in the viewing audience.  NBC’s Family Hour pledge is purely hypocritical.”


Mr. Winter recently wrote to NBC Entertainment’s Co-Chairman, Ben Silverman, to express his gratitude over NBC’s recent commitment to the Family Hour.  But in his letter he asked Mr. Silverman and NBC to make sure the Family Hour content is truly appropriate for families.  “I understand that ‘family’ is a broad category and it includes families with small children, families with older children, and even families without children.  But all too often material is called ‘Family Programming’ when in fact it is nothing of the sort.  ‘Ugly Betty’ comes to mind.  The PTC has also recorded scenes from that program which implied oral sex, reference to genital size, pornography, strippers, anal sex, threesomes, kinky and fetishistic behavior, statutory rape, S&M and partial nudity.  Foul language in ‘Ugly Betty’ frequently includes words like ‘suck’, ‘bitch’, ‘ass,’ ‘screw’ and ‘damn’.  This is hardly ‘family’ quality material,” Mr. Winter said in his letter.


“We were the first to praise NBC for returning to the Family Hour, but we must now be the first to condemn their apparent abandonment of the previous week’s so-called commitment.  We repeat our request to NBC: please make the Family Hour truly family-friendly.  Responsible television programming is good business.  NBC could easily return to its roots with successful shows that appeal to the whole family, such as ‘The Cosby Show.’  Committing to families must be more than empty talk.  We expect NBC to make good on its pledge to keep the Family Hour intact and fill it with programming that even children can watch,” Winter concluded.


TAKE ACTION! File a formal complaint with the FCC.


To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, 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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