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Press Release

February 20, 2009

PTC Urges Supreme Court to Hear the Janet Jackson Striptease Indecency Case


LOS ANGELES (February 20, 2009) – As the U.S. Supreme Court considers today whether to hear the Janet Jackson broadcast decency case, the Parents Television Council™ urges the Court to take up this case in order to maintain the integrity of the broadcast decency law.


In July 2008, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruling threw out the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fine given to CBS for airing Janet Jackson’s breast during the 2004 Super Bowl, which shocked millions of unsuspecting families and children.  The PTC and its 1.3 million members led the charge to clean up the airwaves by calling on the FCC to levy a hefty fine against CBS and its affiliates for violating the federal indecency law over this so-called “wardrobe malfunction,” and the FCC rightly levied a fine.


“If a striptease during the Super Bowl in front of 90 million people – including millions of children – doesn’t fit the parameters of broadcast indecency, then what does?  The Third Circuit Court, following the flawed ruling of the Second Circuit, appeared determined to undermine the federal indecency statute, and the rationale of its ruling runs counter both to common sense and the public interest.  We urge the Supreme Court to take up this case, act on behalf of the public interest and not the broadcasters’ corporate interest, and correct the misguided Circuit Courts.  Families should not have to worry that their children will be sucker-punched with indecent material on the public airwaves before 10 pm – and certainly not during a Super Bowl broadcast,” said PTC President Tim Winter.


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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