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Press Release

August 6, 2008

CBS’s ‘Big Brother’ Drops an F-Bomb on Families


LOS ANGELES (August 6, 2008) – The Parents Television Council™ called out CBS today for yet another airing of an unedited “F-word” – the latest instance being on last night’s broadcast of the show “Big Brother.” The program aired at 9:00 pm in the Eastern and Pacific time zones and during the 8:00 pm hour in the Central and Mountain time zones. During last night’s broadcast, a woman named Libra was arguing with a man and said: “Memphis was in the f***ing room!”


“Last week CBS said they want the indecency laws overturned, and today we found out why. Based on their behavior, it would appear that they feel the law no longer applies to them anyway,” said PTC President Tim Winter.


“There is absolutely no justification for allowing an ‘F-word’ like this to air unedited on prime time broadcast television. There can be no question that this was an intentional act on the part of the network; someone actually had to edit the scene with the word into the show.

“Just this past November, CBS hypocritically entered into yet another consent decree with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) promising not to air indecent material. But apparently, CBS will break its own formal promise – again. Last time it was to air a teen orgy; this time it is for the opportunity to air the ‘F-word.’


“CBS’ behavior is a direct result of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on so-called fleeting profanity – a case that will be heard by the Supreme Court this fall. But let me be clear: Unlike the facts of that legal challenge, this was no live broadcast. It was an intentional airing of pre-packaged program that contained obscene language. The network’s reprehensible decision to air it cannot go without consequence.


“Despite our disappointment with the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals decision regarding Janet Jackson’s striptease during the 2004 Super Bowl, that court was clear in acknowledging the authority of the broadcast decency laws as already affirmed by the Supreme Court. We have filed a formal complaint with the FCC and we urge the Commission to act on this matter immediately.

“PTC calls on its members and concerned citizens across the country to let the FCC and Congress know they will not tolerate CBS’ irresponsibility. In addition, advertisers who sponsored last night’s broadcast of ‘Big Brother’ will be told exactly what they paid for, and they should carefully consider whether they want to help bring F-bombs into living rooms across the country. We also call on Congress to swiftly vote on and pass S. 1780, the Protecting Children from Indecent Programming Act which would clarify that even a single instance of obscene language may be indecent. As the Supreme Court prepares to address this issue – and we hope the Justices have taken notice of last night’s episode - the time for families to speak out with a collective voice is now,” concluded Winter.


TAKE ACTION NOW! File your official indecency complaint with the FCC today.


TAKE ACTION NOW! Call your Senators and Senator Harry Reid and demand immediate action on S. 1780 (Protecting Children From Indecent Programming Act).


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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