Support Our Work File an FCC Complaint Movie Reviews Join Us Family Guide to Primetime Television Home
Parents Television Council - Because Our Children Are Watching


1%-5% of your purchase will help support the PTC.

Press Release

April 28, 2009

PTC Lauds Supreme Court Ruling Finding “Fleeting” Expletives Indecent

PTC President: Today’s Ruling is an “Incredible Victory for Families”


LOS ANGELES (April 28, 2009) – The Parents Television Council™ praised the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Fox v. FCC.  With that opinion today, the Court has upheld the FCC’s ability to enforce the broadcast decency law and found that so-called “fleeting” expletives on the public airwaves could, indeed, be indecent.  The FCC ruled that Fox violated the broadcast indecency law when it aired the “F-word” and “S-word” during live broadcasts of the 2002 and 2003 Billboard Music Awards shows.  The PTC and its members filed FCC indecency complaints over these two incidents and also submitted an Amicus brief in support of the FCC.


“Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court is an incredible victory for families.  The Court has affirmed that the broadcast airwaves do indeed belong to the public, and not to the broadcasters who are granted a license to use the public airwaves for free,” said PTC President Tim Winter.


“We agree with the Court that the FCC’s broadcast decency enforcement policy is ‘entirely rational’.  And we agree with the Court’s finding that the FCC was not ‘arbitrary’ or ‘capricious’ in its finding that those words were indecent on the public airwaves when children are in the audience. 


“Broadcasters must abide by the terms of their licenses.  They must not air indecent material before 10:00 p.m. – the hours when children are most likely to be in the viewing audience.  We must put the well-being of children first and allow certain hours of the broadcast day to be a safe haven for families. 


“We implore the broadcast networks to abide by today’s Court’s ruling rather than to pursue a path of attempted obstruction with countless legal maneuverings.  And we encourage the FCC to use today’s opinion to break the indecency complaint logjam, and rule on the merits of the tens of thousands of indecency complaints currently awaiting review at the Commission,” Winter said.


Official Court Ruling

Read the full history of the case and the treatment of indecency by 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.




JOIN US ON:          .

Parents Television Council, www.parentstv.org, PTC, Clean Up TV Now, Because our children are watching, The nation's most influential advocacy organization, Protecting children against sex, violence and profanity in entertainment, Parents Television Council Seal of Approval, and Family Guide to Prime Time Television are trademarks of the Parents Television Council.