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Press Release

September 30, 2008

PTC Blasts CBS for Nudity on ‘Survivor’ Premiere


LOS ANGELES (September 30, 2008) – The Parents Television Council™ called out CBS for allowing a contestant’s penis to air unedited during the premiere episode of “Survivor: Gabon” on Thursday, September 25. The two hour “Survivor” season premiere began during the Family Hour at 8:00 p.m. in the Eastern and Pacific Time zones and 7:00 p.m. in the Central and Mountain Time zones. PTC has filed an indecency complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and is encouraging its members and concerned citizens to do so as well.

During the show’s premiere, the contestants participated in a race for “immunity and rewards.” Contestant Marcus Lehman’s penis was shown falling out of his underwear as he ran to the finish line. The image was not obscured in any way.

“Unsatisfied with the growing volume of indecent material on live broadcasts, CBS has once again decided to violate the public trust, this time by including an unedited shot of a penis on ‘Survivor.’ Although this instance was brief, it was nonetheless shocking and purposeful. Unfortunately, with the number of people inside the network reviewing every frame of video, CBS knew full well of this nudity and elected to include it anyway,” said PTC President Tim Winter. 


“Just weeks ago, CBS edited an ‘f-word’ into a primetime broadcast of ‘Big Brother.’ The network did not apologize to the public for doing so and even refused to acknowledge its actions publicly. This continued pattern of arrogance and contempt follows earlier behavior at CBS for violating a consent decree with the FCC promising not to air indecent material.


“CBS’s decision to hide behind excuses that the incident was ‘fleeting’ and didn’t generate an immediate flood of complaints is the epitome of irresponsibly. The number of ‘fleeting’ penises we expect to see on broadcast television is zero.


“Such nudity has no place on the public airwaves when we know millions of children are in the audience. We are calling on CBS to publically apologize and, as outlined in the FCC consent decree, to take immediate steps to identify who edited the scene into the broadcast and hold that person or those people accountable,” said Winter.


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


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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